Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur
jducoeur

Symbolism

I will say that this week had one oddly good outcome, at least to my lights. While the lockdown in Watertown wasn't a bad idea (overzealous in its breadth, I think, but certainly well-intentioned), the biggest concentration of police ever seen in this region didn't manage to catch Dzokhar Tsarnaev. Instead, it was after the lockdown was lifted that an alert citizen noticed something amiss, brought the authorities onto the scene, and things finished up fairly quickly.

If that ain't symbolism, I don't know what is.

We often forget that a healthy community requires appropriate *cooperation* between the citizens and authorities. That means that folks should keep an eye on the authorities, but also respect that they are usually doing their best, and are generally good at their jobs. But it also means that the authorities need to respect their citizens, and recognize that they are not, by and large, dumb, careless or easily panicked.

We're all trying to keep everybody safe. That works best when *everybody* is helping out.

(There are limits to that, of course -- some jobs need to be left to the specialists, and some folks really are kind of thick. But generally, a million eyes can accomplish a lot more than a thousand, even when that thousand are well-trained. Sometimes, informing and trusting the citizenry is a good idea...)
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