Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Character

"Character is what we do when no one is watching."

I love that quote.
It says a lot.
Most of us behave well when we are under watchful eyes, but how do you behave when you think no one important is watching?




Let me share a story with you:

     I was driving my daughter to her preschool today, since my daughter's afternoon bus driver is recovering from a surgery. I noticed that the morning preschool bus driver pulled out behind me. In no time, this bus was mere inches away from my bumper. Inches. I checked my speedometer: 30mph in a 25mph zone. I was already going enough over the speed limit. I wasn't about to speed and get a ticket just to please this crazy lady.  I was getting agitated really quickly. It takes me about 15 minutes to drive my daughter to school. Ten of those minutes I was close to getting into an accident. "If you're in such a hurry, either go around me or choose a different route!"
     I thought about tapping my breaks to scare her off. Nope. Couldn't do it. My daughter was in the back of the van, and the bus was so ridiculously close that even just tapping the breaks would have caused an accident. The bus would've been the winner in that accident.
     So I drove the rest of the way, my road raging bus trailing me. I pulled into the preschool parking lot, unloaded my daughter, and began trekking up the path to the school. We had to pass the bus parking on the way. The look on the bus driver's face screamed, "OH CRAP!"  I admit, I was a little smug after seeing the look on her face.
     So then the internal battle began. Do I say something? I hate being a tattle-tale. I don't want to ruin this woman's life. What if this job is the only thing supporting her family? If I don't say something, though, will she do the same type of driving with 20 children in the bus? How would I feel if she were my child's bus driver?
     In the end, I chose to write a formal complaint. My reasoning: I asked myself what any respectable parent would have done in that same situation.
     The bus driver is a grown woman. She chose her actions. She never would have driven that way had her supervisor been with her. She also is well aware of the consequences.
     My concern is the safety of all the children. The children that she buses now, and possibly my own child next year (she's in 3K right now).
     Character is what we do when no one is watching, and she thought no one was watching.




Always be proud of your actions.

Always.


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