Friday, April 19, 2013

The Mario Cuomo Moment

In light of the events in Boston this week, I felt the need to introduce this phrase to the lexicon (or Blogicon).  It came to me last night when I did something stupid, again, and survived through pure luck.  I had dinner with a friend visiting from DC, and after he went back to his hotel I hung out for a couple more beers with some really interesting people I met.  This was at one of my favorite haunts near 29th and 7th Ave.  There are always a lot of cops parked around there, and recently they have been closing 29th Street at 11th Avenue, which makes my escape route to the West Side Highway several blocks longer.  At midnight I really hate that...

So when I headed out, I did not get too far up the West Side Highway before I realized that maybe it was unwise for me to be driving.   I had not been sleeping well and it had been along day.  So I pulled onto Riverside Drive and found a parking spot (surprisingly easy, as it happens).  Then  I called a car service to take me home (for ($51).  I had to return on the bus today to get my car.  Thi was the "Mario Cuomo Moment", when I realized that the rule of law is sometimes worth considerable inconvenience.  I could have been arrested for drunk driving and maybe even had my license suspended -- never mind the danger I posed to myself and others.  Truly a case of the law being there for  a good reason.  I did not consider the risk of mayhem, but the risk of legal repurcussions made me alter my behavior for the benefit of society.

I thought of this today when I heard the stories of people confined to their homes in Boston.  And we all benefit from their selfless participation in a society of laws.  Not a small thing.  We owe them thanks, and hope that their example continues to inspire communities throughout the nation and the world.  Co-operation and participation, no matter now inconvenient, is a building block of peace and security, at home and globally.       

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