I found myself today at the Duluth County Courthouse. I am guilty. I was going 60mph in a 45mph zone. I was hurrying, (typically my story), to a coaching session this past November, and honestly was NOT paying the proper attention to my driving.
I still talk on my cell phone while driving, with an earbud if I haven’t misplaced it. (It’s so small)! I do however pull over to text, (thanks to Brian Cork’s texting and driving blog post). (Check out the recent news regarding texting and driving….encouraging indeed).
Doing anything other than driving (while driving) is ludicrous, selfish and stupid, though most of us do find ourselves drinking coffee, talking on our phones, setting our GPSs, peeling and eating oranges (me)…..I’ve seen people READING….and yes, texting!
At any rate, there I sat at court. I was hoping I might be able to take a defensive driving class to avoid getting my speeding ticket listed on my insurance record, ruining my clean slate in that area.
It was a lovely room where I sat, new, clean, spacious, rows of pew like benches with no kneeling benches, the room no doubt paid for by citation payments such as my own. But, the energy in the room was questionable. I’ve been feeling a lot of ‘thick’ energy of late, in fact, tossed and turned until 3:45am this morning mitigating a way to swim out of the murkiness I’d been feeling.
A tv Judge now appears on screen before the flesh and blood bloke appears to determine our various fates. He was followed on screen by a Spanish speaking woman repeating the same lengthy message. They talked about all kinds of citations, what was going to happen now during our stay, how we need to carefully fill out our paperwork…spell our names correctly.
There were a number of Officers in the room, though none of them smiled, one tried to, but caught himself. And I noticed that NO one said ‘thank you’ after ordering us about. ‘Thank you’ takes a moment to say. Or ‘please’,
‘please move this way ma’am.’
‘I sure will, thank you for letting me know Officer.’
I wonder what their moms would think about such lack of good manners.
‘Move behind the sign’….(please)….it could transform the feeling in the room. Transform the world, really.
I’m sure these Officers have at one time or another driven too fast. Wouldn’t they want someone to say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ as they were corralled like cattle from room to room? Sure they would.
So here we all sat, offenders of many sorts. We’d all taken time off from work to plead our cases regarding one thing or another. Some people came with attorneys with their meters running. Ooooh, I felt their pain having been in that particular taxi cab.
I realized I was feeling discouraged this morning, with the world, with the fear, the anxiety, the hopelessness that visits me often when I feel murky energy, a dull vibration in a room, within myself. I realize then that I must turn my light up, amp up my voltage meter, begin to embue the surrounds with a different buzz. When I do it works. I decided at that moment to contend that everyone was fair and basically good. I could feel the space around me lighten.
I wonder how we might help one another more, support each other with the weight of the world on each of us. No one is exempt. There are lessons to be learned, surely, but I want to shine a light. I want better solutions. I want people to get along, to understand one another better, to stop fighting and defending….so here I was, asking for help, asking for a break in my sentence, ringing my cow bell.
I have high expectations of myself and others and I know, I know, the danger in having expectations is the same as the downfall of being attached to something….the better choice being perhaps to intend one thing or another, but to not worry about the outcome….it’s truly not up to us.
Our pain comes from attachment. Period.
Finally my call to visit with Mr Prosecutor. He was actually a bit cheery and brought a surprise my way, (I swear he was flirting)…
‘You look so nice today Ms. Webb in your jacket and scarf. I’ll do better than have you go to driving class, oh and you filled out your paperwork, good, good, very good…. I’ll reduce your points so this ticket does not go on your record which has NO other speeding violations. Very good, very good, model citizen. You need only pay the fine and be on your way after meeting with the Judge.’
I swear, THAT was a first. (And I was NOT flirting, just smiling). And yes, I filled out my paperwork, was that so big a feat? He made it seem so. Then he added,
‘Oh we’re only a month apart in age.’ I quickly left the room. Oh brother.
(I was however most grateful).
Back I went to my church pew in the court house to read my Eckhart Tolle book (more on that soon), (coincidence, no)! waiting for my name to be called to visit with the Grand Pubah, the Great Wizard with white hair and mustache, as good ole boy as they come. And finally, ‘Barbara Banta Webb.’
It seems there were a lot of people going 60 in a 45 that day. The Judge could have pre-recorded his summons. I thanked him, smiled and was ordered to a nearby seat to await my name being called again.
‘Barbara Banta Webb!’…..I quickly gathered my book, purse, coat, but not quickly enough,
‘BARBARA BANTA WEBB!’
‘Coming, I’m just getting my coat.’
I flashed her a smile, (she wasn’t smiling). As I walked past the judge, I flashed him a pearly one too, then out to where the large woman in orange who had ordered me earlier to,
‘Take your cell phone to your car’, she then ordered me to a waiting line to pay my fine.
‘Stand behind the sign’. I apparently walked too far.
‘STAND BEHIND THE SIGN.’ I moved backwards,
‘Oh, okay’, and I flashed her big smile and held it there until she turned away, giving me nothing but her backside.
Finally my turn at the window.
‘Hi!’ I beamed, ‘How much do I owe please?’
From behind the glass, ‘$178.35.’
‘Ouch’ came my reply with, yep, a big smile, she looked surprised, paused a moment and then gleamed a pearly one my way!
Ahhhhh, a connection, a moment. A win!
No one smiles when paying a fine, but I wanted to. My ticket was a great reminder. I need to slow down. I need to smile more. I need to be the change agent in this world. I need to make a difference by BEING different.
And today, I was.