Have you ever been pulled over? This may surprise you, cough cough, but my driving style is a lot like the way I talk…and write. Fast and furious, always trying to get somewhere. Last weekend, with an unexpected afternoon of sunshine, I was out running errands, and inadvertently didn’t pay enough attention to a new posted neighborhood speed. When I saw those lights, gulp. My first immediate thought was, “Ohhhhhhh, MT is going to kill me!’ The second was, “Ohhhhhhh, please don’t give me a ticket! Just a warning, just a warning!”
Luckily, I did just get a warning that day. As I was driving away, I thought how ironic it was that as administrator, working with both adults and students, I am a big rules/policies girl. I like to know the parameters of an environment/situation and think that they are in place for a reason. I’m quick to want accountability and feel that individuals should be held responsible.
But when I get pulled over, my first instinct is to want grace. I want to explain, to rationalize, to make sure you understand the circumstances.
I was so much more cognizant of my speed this week. I was appreciative of the chance to do better. I was respectful of the officer’s power of a punitive action, but that he chose to give me the benefit of a learning experience. Had I gotten a ticket, would I have reflected on it so objectively? Or would I have been bitter and resentful? Been annoyed as I watched others fly by, getting away with their hurried pace, while I sat as the “one who got caught”… been focused on more of the consequence, than the actions that I had done to get myself there?
I don’t know for sure. But it definitely made me think about how I handle situations on my campus. Do I want the reflection, or do I want the finality of a judgement/consequence?
I know what I want for students…and myself. That surely transfers…
It was a very poignant reminder that as a leader,