Gratitude for Flashing Lights in the Rear View Mirror

Many people may not think of this event as having much gratitude, but for me, it does!  When you are driving down the highway and suddenly you see a State Trooper flashing his lights, most people feel a lump in their throat, a rock in their stomach, and a feeling of dread come over them.

Last night I drove from NJ down to Maryland I saw flashing lights come from out of nowhere; actually, they came from the median. By the time I looked down at the speedometer, it looked like I slowed down to around 70. Not too bad. Maybe it was coincidence that the lights started flashing when I passed by. Perhaps he was off to handle another issue that needed his assistance.

Gratitude-LightsI signaled from the left lane
into the center to lane to allow him to pass by me. I still didn’t think that he was after me. I think optimistically all the time! When he came into the middle lane following me, I figured it was me! I was getting pulled over for speeding! UGH! I pulled over to the side of I-95 and got my license, insurance, and registration ready.

I rolled down my window as he approached my car. The Trooper advised me that I was being recorded using video and audio (My first thought was, “How cool is that!”) and I was informed that I was ‘apparently‘ (my own editorial comment – this was never stated) going down the highway at 82 mph. Really?! Who would have known?! Off goes the Trooper with my credentials to write me up.

Now my mind is reeling… Of course, I do the math: 82 – 65 =  17. I was going 17 mph over the speed limit. How bad is that? What is the threshold number? Is 15 mph over the limit ‘bad‘? Or do I need to be 20 mph before it is considered a ‘bad‘ thing?  Then
I think, “I am The Gratitude Guru… maybe I can get out of this… Nah that won’t happen!”

My next thought was another calculation: 2010 – 2004 = 6. 6 years I have been driving my car without a ticket. Ok – not bad! That alone is something to be grateful about! Maybe I was due for one. I will accept this ticket and be grateful that I was informed that I need to slow down, for my safety, as well as others.

After all, since I was speeding, I deserve to get a ticket! There is no reason to argue it, cause a problem, or get upset. For every cause, there is an effect. You speed, you get a ticket. Simple. I was ready to accept it!

At that point, the Trooper was back at my door. He hands me my credentials and a printout. He tells me to slow down and that I have been warned. I received a Warning!

Did I get lucky? Was it Fate? Call it what you want, but I think “What goes around, comes around.” Having gratitude all the time pays off.

And yes, for the rest of the trip, I stayed under the speed limit!

Be Well.
The Gratitude Guru


  1. Cat Sinclair on October 8, 2010 at 7:10 am

    I love warnings….it’s like getting a second chance to start over. It’s like hot apple pie and cinnamon ice cream. Seriously! It says I know you did wrong, but I am gonna let you slide, because I know in my heart that you are a good person and didn’t mean to do a bad thing. Gratitude…ain’t it grand?

  2. Melissa Smith on October 8, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Good for you and I thought I was really in the “gratitude” spirit being a reader of yours for over a year and feeling I was experiencing a lot of your quotes. However, your story tells me even more I need to reach out and the let the gratitude flow because I was not as fortunate as you when driving through Virginia!!!!

  3. GoalsLeadToSuccess (Erik) on October 8, 2010 at 9:53 am

    How appropriate that I read this post today. Last night, on my way home from work I too got pulled over. I was driving approximately 45 MPH (munchy punchy hunchy) on a 40 MPH road. I was in the left lane and saw a car come flying up behind me.

    As soon as I pulled over into the right lane, the car, now directly behind me, followed me into the lane. When he stayed behind me, only then did I realize that it was a police car.

    A few seconds later, he turned on the flashing lights. There was nowhere for me to immediately turn off the road, so I had to continue to drive to the next traffic light which was about 1/4 mile up.

    My first thought was, like you, that I was being pulled over for speeding. I reached into my pocket for my wallet and remembered that I put it under my seat when I got to work earlier that night. Grea
    t, I have a police car behind me and I have to reach under my seat to get my wallet! Probably not a good thing!

    The one policeman walks up to my driver side window, while the other (yes, there were two of them in the same car!) shines his flashlight into the passenger window.

    The policeman on my side asks for my license and registration. For some reason in Florida, they do not ask for proof of insurance! I hand it to him and he says, “The light over your license plate is out. I’ll be right back.”

    My first thought is, “What a silly reason to pull me over,” and then I think, “Well, at least it wasn’t for speeding!”

    He comes back to the car less than 3 minutes later, hands me my license and registration, and says, “Get that light fixed when you get some time.” He doesn’t even wait for me to say “thank you” but just turns around and walks back to his car.

    I have been pulled over many times over the past several years, but I am happy to say I have not received a ticket! My las
    t ticket was over 10 years ago and I am grateful for that.

    I guess it runs in the family!


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