Is Love and Logic limited to kids? Could it even work on me? You bet it can! And it has!
There was a time in my life when I had more get-up-and-go than I have now, and I was known to give three different speeches in three cities on the same day. I would drive like crazy between cities to get to the next presentation. I often found myself explaining to police officers why I had to drive like crazy!
It wasn’t easy to tell an officer that I had just left a seminar where I was speaking to parents and educators about raising responsible kids and the importance of kids facing the consequences of their bad decisions. There I was, an adult who was overextending himself (bad decision), driving like a fool (another bad decision), and trying to avoid the consequences of those bad decisions.
Then it happened. My wife and were on a trip to Florida to visit our kids. I made a horrible mistake. I exceeded the speed limit in that great state of Texas. A Texas state trooper stopped me and put my own moves on me before I could put them on him. He made mincemeat out of me—right there on the side of the highway.
He got out of his patrol car with a big grin on his face, and a big cowboy hat on his head, and said, “Hey there buddy, see ya got a Colorado license plate. I bet you’re on a trip. Where ya headed?” I tried to apply my technique and began, “Well officer, my wife and I are headed down to Florida. Our kids live there and we haven’t seen them in quite a while.”
He said, “Oh, well then, that explains it. I bet you’re anxious to get there, huh?” Caught off guard, I answered, “Uh, yeah, we are kind of anxious to get there. Why?” He answered, “Well, I’ll tell ya why I stopped ya—this is such a bummer.”
(This is such a bummer? Wait! That’s my line!)
He continued, “Radar said you were going 73 miles-an-hour. That ain’t all that bad but this is a 55 mile-an-hour speed limit, and when it gets that bad, I gotta write ya’ll a ticket. Now don’t feel bad, I don’t want you to worry.”
(Don’t worry? I recognize that one too!)
He kept smiling as he said, “You don’t have to go back to the county seat and deal with that, I know you were frettin’ about that. I know you’re wantin’ to get to those kids and we don’t want to make ya backtrack. The state gives me this letter that I get to give to ya. Look at this, it’ll outline all the choices you have in this matter. Look at that first choice right there, back to Berman, it’s about fifteen miles, you pay the fine and it’s over with. Y’all never have to think about it again.”
(Oh no! Now he’s giving me choices.)
Then he started sounding like a school counselor. “But I’m wondering if the second choice might be a little better for ya, because I know you’re anxious to see your kids, and you surely don’t want to go back,” and then added, “Now you just try not to worry about this for a couple of weeks.”
(Try not to worry?)
Still smiling, he said, “Just put it out of your mind.”
He continued, “Sometimes when you have a little time on your hands, read through this here little box and match up the speed with the dollar amount for each mile-an-hour over the limit, and then you’ll know how much money to send us. And look at all the choices they provide there, see they are right there, all the choices. Let’s see, yep, ya see right here it says they will accept certified checks, cashier checks, money orders, and cash, it’s really up to you. You know there’s a third choice. A lot of people feel they need to contest these tickets. So, on the backside, well look here, they’ve even outlined all the steps in contesting the ticket, if you choose. See they got step one, and there’s step two. Ya’ll might want to think a lot about that before you do anything.”
Finally, he laid a little empathy on me before he left, “Sure understand a car like this one getting away from ya in these long stretches of highways. Big powerful cars. Long, straight Texas roads. They’ll get ya every time. Now ya’ll have a good trip. And come back and see us soon, ya hear?”
As I was heading back to my car, I thought, “I trained that guy.” This guy had my head whirling so fast I couldn’t think straight as he talked. I kept thinking, “Am I going back to… Berman? No, I don’t want to do that! I’m going down to Florida. Wait a minute, maybe I can contest it. Oh, you can’t contest it, you deserve it. You were doing 73 miles-an-hour in a 55 mile-an-hour speed limit area. You can’t contest that. What’s going to happen to my insurance?”
That Texas state trooper was so slick that I was too busy thinking to put my moves on him. What about my respect for him? Was it still pretty high? Yeah! Would you guess he got a lot less tired and less stressed-out than some other folks in his profession? You bet! That’s what I hope for you.
Thanks for reading!