This We Believe

Separated by Differences, United by Beliefs

Honest Words

on March 14, 2012

Sirens ring out, and a quickly exchanging set of red and blue lights fill my rear view mirror. It’s at this moment I realize not only will I not be getting to school on time; I might not be driving anywhere after this cop is done with me.

At this particular moment I quickly began surveying the scene at hand, and trying to see just how much trouble I’m really going to be in. Once the realization has set in that I will be in trouble, I always go over a check list in my head of how many things I’ve done wrong. First thing that came to mind immediately was my speed, being that it was a 25 mph zone and I was cruising somewhere between 40 and 45 mph I certainly failed.

After going through the exercise in my head I ended up with four separate things that I was in the wrong for; speeding, not wearing a seat belt, and having an Arizona license plate and license while being a Wisconsin resident. Shortly thereafter the police officer had finally made it up to my driver’s side window.

He first questioned how I was doing that morning followed by if I knew why I had been pulled over. As the officer began to survey the inside of my car, I fumbled my first words out by saying my morning was going poorly already and that I did in fact know why.

I was nervous and unsure about what I should tell him. I felt that I knew a book of secrets he could write me tickets for, but then again would he ever find those out if I didn’t tell him. I took a deep breath and then openly told the officer about what I had been thinking about moments before his arrival.

He looked deeply surprised at how open I was about the things that could potentially put me in a heap of trouble. When I had finished speaking he said to me, “Son I appreciate what you just told me and the fact you owned up to your mistakes. I’ll be back in a little while after I run your license and registration, and I’ll see what I can do for you.” Telling the truth had not put panic over me, but a calming nature that made me feel ready for the worst to come.

Fifteen minutes had passed by this point since the officer had the dumb founded look upon his face at my window, when I finally saw him step back out again from his patrol car. He handed me back my license and registration first and then followed up with an apology for the longevity of the traffic stop. He proceeded to hand me a brochure followed by a piece of yellow paper. He then went on to tell me that because of my honesty, I was only receiving a seat belt violation for the stop and I would need to pay a ten dollar fine.

As he turned to leave I thanked him for his kindness and reminded him that it won’t happen again. He turned and said, “No thank you for being honest. It takes a lot for some one to own up to their mistakes and take full responsibility, and today it helped keep you from hundreds of dollars in fines.”

I believe in the power of honesty.

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