To the editor,

The place of employment had beautifully painted walls and granite floors in the hallways that spoke to the flow of ideas and camaraderie among the inhabitants of this place of employment. Individual offices were arrayed in color, décor and vibrancy. People chatted and collaborated on ideas during their hours of work. The individual offices were bastions of creativity, support, compassion and fun. The people who were employed there felt at home and at ease knowing their voices were heard, their ideas would be considered and (most of all) they felt respected.

Then one day, a new anointed was chosen. So full of himself, he knew he could make a name for himself. And so it began - change; change not based on need, but change based in ego, cronyism and disrespect for the people who were employed. Away went the colorful and beautifully painted walls, and in their place utilitarian and dull walls crowded in on the people who traversed those hallways. The creativity and myriad ideas that filled the offices were ripped apart and in their place a one-size-fits-all. One path to follow - no room to have their voices heard nor their concerns addressed nor their ideas given consideration.

And if, by chance, one was a member of the inner sanctum, there was no fear because their voices were the only ones that mattered.

Slowly, but surely, this place of employment dwindled in employees who cared about the place. The joy of working became a matter of needing to work there rather than wanting to work there. And just as surely as the joy of working was stifled, the invaluable flow of creative ideas - ideas created by themselves and not by someone else -- the people became as automatons, simply acting as robots to fulfill a function.

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And unfortunately through apathy - the story's ending hangs in the mist.

Kim Szondy Higgs

Grand Forks