Editorial by Pitkin News

December 6, 2018

We continually hear that "change is inevitable" and like it or not, that is a very true statement. Pitkin, like everywhere else on this planet is fluid and dynamic; in a constant state of motion. There will always be something around us changing, some changes we will like and other changes that we will not. Those who agree will promote the changes, while the others will try to stop or slow them.

Human nature: you gotta love it! We are each very different creatures with individual traits and bias.

America began as what was referred to as the "melting pot." People from all over the world came to seek their view of the American Dream and assimilated into Americans. For the most part, for a couple of centuries, that appears to have worked. Ultimately however, things and folks changed and we no longer want to "melt." We then became a country of hyphenated Americans. We must all understand that hyphenated people have different values and perspectives than the non-hyphenated people. If they didn't, they wouldn't be hyphenated. They are not bad - just different. There is no "right" or "wrong" when it comes to the human nature "thing."

More than a century ago when folks came and settled Pitkin, did they become hyphenated Pitkin-people or did they "melt?" Today, we have full-time-Pitkin people, part-time-Pitkin-people, summer-time-Pitkin-people, visiting-Pitkin-people, vacationing-Pitkin-people and many-other-varieties-of-Pitkin-people. The flags that fly highest over Pitkin are American Flags (at least we can agree that we are Americans) with the flags of many states (other than Colorado's) flying directly below. All of the hyphenated Pitkin-people have a very justified and special interest in Pitkin but are they all truly equal? Should the interests of people who choose to live someplace else 40 to 50 weeks of the year, carry equal weight to those who live here 365 days per year? Regardless of your answer to that question, whatever your answer is, is at the very heart of Pitkin's problems. This is where human nature and its associated emotions are manifest. Everybody has a solid and sincere opinion on this, there is no neutral, it is one or the other: "you can't be half-pregnant."

Change is indeed inevitable but does change come in only one "flavor?" Is all change for the better? During the past few years a lot of change has indeed taken place here. Pitkin has become a place where neighbors are no longer friends, where neighbors no longer speak, where neighbors no longer wave to one another, where people whisper things behind their neighbor's back that they would never say aloud, where false witness is as commonplace as truth, where falsehoods and opinions are presented as fact, where the "effect" is greater than the "cause" and where "winning" by any means is completely justified, a place where we no longer leave our homes unlocked or fail to take our keys out of the car. Change does come in more than one flavor.

Social media posts are not open conversation but where preachers speak only to the choir. The one-sided comments have created and/or greatly magnified our differences and done precious little in leading towards solutions. It is time for open conversations with positives spins and social media has shown itself to be anything but. Anyone who truly wants all of Pitkin's-people to find a place of common ground upon which to unite, surely understands that social media, as we have seen it, is not the place to begin. Only open, honest and respectful conversation will bring us the better "flavor" of change.

Our problems and differences cannot be completely resolved but perhaps, through purposeful dialog, our differences can be minimized to a point where neighbors are once again friends, where we once again choose to like over dislike, and trust over distrust.

It is our hope in writing this piece that it results in something greater than a waste of our time. We hope that every Pitkin-person will think about where we are, how we got here and how we may find our way back to Pitkin. At the very least, we hope the social media crowd will pause, ever so briefly, before twisting our words into something they are not and jumping back to "trashing us,"

From listening to the audio of the November 26 Trustee's Meeting, it appears that the trustees are committed to providing forums with reasonable rules of engagement that promote dialog, where it will be possible for the different varieties of Pitkin-people to speak and to be heard; to ask questions and get answers. Where conversation and positive dialog is louder than argument. We wish to commend the trustees for making this commitment and believe that if this is truly implemented, it will be a very good first step towards the dialog that brings about "positive change." Audio of November 26 meeting.