Friday, April 26, 2013

Be aware, be powerful

    The mission of this newspaper is and always has been to provide readers the news of the Blaine County area to empower, enrich and inform the lives of residents.
    But there’s a catch to empowerment: People have to pay attention to what’s going on in their communities to get it.
    Being alert to and involved in what’s going on may be more important in today’s challenging times in the Sun Valley area than ever before. In today’s interconnected world, things move fast. Even government, which has a reputation for being an eternal tortoise among hares, can move quickly when elected leaders want it to.
    Some people behave as though it’s a lot less stressful to ignore what goes on around them until events become big enough to demand their attention. Or, they assume that elected community leaders will always make decisions entirely in the public interest.
    These attitudes leave people totally powerless. By the time they wake up and pay attention, public hearings on major issues may be over, deadlines for public testimony may be past, coffee-shop influence peddling may have moved on to new issues and elected officials may have made final decisions.
    Unwinding decisions of government bodies is next to impossible unless they’ve been made in secret or without due process, and even then, it can be impossible to change the outcome.
    People who think living in resort communities relieves them of the obligation to be informed and involved citizens often find out the hard way that it does not. So pay attention, read widely, think deeply, listen and get involved. Otherwise, the future may arrive as an unwelcome surprise.

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