Tom Kleman: Are we unique?

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Steamboat Springs is a unique environment. You hear that all the time, yet, how unique are we?

Today's need to be efficient, our intense competition, our drive to succeed (of which the definition is not clear) drives us to follow procedures to set policies for all situations, to make rules based on previous problems so they won't happen again. Some companies have skyrocketed to the top by hammering into their organizations these principles. It works in fast food, in discount stores and in some government functions.

But at what cost? Do people think anymore, or do they just react according to procedure?

The recent incident with Billy Kidd, described in an article in the Oct. 18 Steamboat Today raises the question: Is anyone thinking anymore, or are we so ingrained with "the rules of the game" that we are citizens similar to George Orwell's vision in "1984." No one is above the law, but come on. Was there no one in this whole sequence of events that said to themselves, "Hey, this guy is not a thief?" A phone call at any stage of the events could have solved the question.

Maybe Orwell's vision is more real than we think. Maybe we worry about covering our butts instead of what we are really trying to accomplish. Maybe Steamboat is not as unique as we profess to be.

Tom Kleman

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