On Wednesday, I attended a luncheon at RBTE (the Religious Booksellers Trade Exhibition) where our own Fr. George Lane received a well-deserved award. The speaker at the lunch was Joan Chittister, OSB and she gave a superb talk on the necessity of concentrating on the vital questions rather than settling for (worn out) answers. As she began, she told the following story. How it exactly fit into her argument I can’t recall, but I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to share it with you.
The police were concerned because people weren’t obeying the seat belt law and so, deciding that the carrot rather than the stick approach might work best, decided to reward someone who was following the law. A patrol car was sent out to identify a driver who was properly belted in. The cops spotted someone pretty quickly and pulled him over. “Sir,” said the officer, “Because you are wearing your seat belt as you are meant to do, we are going to reward you with this check for $5,000.”
The driver was both astonished and grateful. He said, “Well, thank you. Now I’m going to go out and get myself a driver’s license.” The woman in the seat beside him piped up, “Officer, pay no attention to him. He always says stupid things like that when he’s been drinking.” From the back seat a passenger whispered loudly to the driver and his companion, “I told you if we stole this car we’d be stopped.” At that moment a banging noise and a muffled voice could be heard from the trunk of the car, “Are we over the border yet?”
[By coincidence, my own car “died” on the way to the event and had to be towed in for repairs…]