Taking Pride in Our Work: Policeman and Artists


Boston honors a fallen policeman this week, and I am reminded of my own encounters with policemen.  I've found they have a unique skill where they are able to transform discipline, authority and responsibility, into spontaneity and humor when the situation requires it.  Perhaps this is because they must be open to everything, all the time.



On my first trip to New York City, my girlfriend and I saw a policeman in the middle of Broadway directing traffic.  I had this sudden urge to meet him, so I ran through the traffic, weaving in and out of taxis, which appeared to cause him alarm.

But I couldn't let this moment escape me. I thought it might be the only time in my life I would ever meet a New York City cop, who I considered one of the toughest guys in the country.  Little did I know, four years after the photo was taken, this would be proven on September 11, 2001.

While I pleaded my case in the middle of Broadway, requesting a photo, his scowling brow transformed into a gravelly laugh. And while honking cars zoomed by, he opened is gun-ready posture, gave me a bear hug and said "HEY, why NOT! It's PUUblic RElations!"( in his New York accent of course).

Once again, I witnessed that transformation taking place... from responsibility to spontaneity.  As an artist I hope to develop these same qualties in my own job.  I think they are the two elements that make our work the most complete.



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