On Thursday of last week, I headed to D.C. to speak to the Georgetown Leadership Coaching alumnae conference. The entire day was great!
But…on the way there, I made a big mistake. As I crossed over into Virginia, I was simply not paying attention. The speed limit dropped from 70 to 65, I was traveling at 79 MPH, and sure enough, I got pulled.
At first, I was baffled. I honestly had no idea that the speed limit had dropped, but when I thought about it more closely, even at 79, I was breaking the law. The speed limit back in North Carolina clearly said 70, and I have “heard through the speeder grapevine” that you can go about 9 miles over the speed limit and “not get caught.” But, in a literal sense, I was speeding and breaking the law.
So, here I am today writing and owning my mistake. I don’t have to appear in court, so I have to either (A) Pay the fine and stand the risk of my insurance going up or (B) Hire and attorney to plead my case in hopes of a better outcome. Either way, I am going to pay both financially, with my time and a bit of worry for the next month. And…I am here to admit that I was wrong.
This whole incident has had me thinking “As Americans, is this what is getting us all into trouble? Breaking the law and hoping to ‘not get caught'”? I think it is obvious from the World Coms, Martha Stewarts and Bernie Madoff’s of the world that this is going on, but what about those of us who are not “so famous”? Are we all trying to just slide right under the radar hoping we can bend the rules, tell a white lie or do the old “let them catch me, then I’ll stop” routine. I actually have heard this from some people who would surprise you…to “eh…just use their work…if they complain and ask you to cease and desist, then do it.”
I think in looking back on my speeding ticket that I am going to do the right thing…I am going to start by setting my cruise control to the speed limit…no higher, no lower. So what if I’m not going 9 miles more than the speed limit. Is it really going to matter that much? And, I am going to start challenging myself each time I am trying to bend a rule or go around a corner to “get their more quickly or with better results!”
If you are reading this blog post today, I would love to hear your comments. What are you willing to stop doing/start doing in order to truly “do the right thing”? Where are you bending the rules, and how can you do your part to walk a straighter line?
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