Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Cost of Speeding, with a side of Self Responsibility.

It seems every time you turn on the news there is some announcement of a new accident, or a new police program, or a new law that is somehow related to driving and talking or texting.  Distracting driving is all the rage these days.  

Years ago, I met a lady who had just moved into my area.  She had a brood of children from different fathers and a procession of boyfriends. Stability wasn’t her middle name, but at the time we met I didn’t know that. I was just happy to meet a new face in the neighbourhood. 

She told me a story about an unreasonable landlord who wouldn’t let her use her last month’s rent as her monthly rent, and how that had forced her to move to my neighbourhood. It would never occur to me to ask my landlord to use my last month’s rent as my rent. This is a person who thinks differently than I do so that piqued my interest enough to stick around for the rest of the story.

As it turns out the fee for retrieving her vehicle from impound and to pay the speed racing tickets was about $1,300 in total.  But she had good cause - she was driving home and talking to her boyfriend on her cell phone. The argument they got into was quite heated and she proceeded to speed at about 140 in a 90 zone right in front of the police who did their civic duty.  I never did find out if any of her kids were with her in the car.

Here’s where the conversation got awkward and I just held on until it was over. Her story painted her as the hapless victim, blaming everyone for the situation she found herself in. The (now ex) boyfriend, the police, the tow truck guy, the landlord, and every government employee that she called to get more assistance would have experienced the same 'poor me' story that I heard, followed by rage when it became apparent that they couldn’t or wouldn’t help her. 

Eventually with a little introspection many people would have settled into feeling a little shame and embarrassment for their actions. This lady was different - she was quite convinced that her initial behavior (speeding) should have been glossed over because she’s a single mom of many children and their primary care giver.  To this I say NO.  Don’t ask others to compensate for your bad behavior. Suck it up and make amends. If you want to know how responsible you are for your own life then google Larry Winget, he will set you straight.

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