The value of vigilance


Last updated 6/14/2022 at Noon

The murder of Tina Lynn Klein-Lewis is a tragedy and a terrible shock to the community of Sisters. A woman of generous spirit was senselessly robbed of her life in a manner that left her friends and neighbors deeply rattled.

Neighbors in the Cloverdale area are understandably upset that they were left unaware that Klein-Lewis’ killer was abroad in their neighborhood for several days before he was apprehended. They believe that the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office should have been more forthcoming with information that would have alerted them to danger. They’re right.

The DCSO says that they kept initial information sparse to protect the integrity of a complex investigation. Protecting a homicide investigation is obviously critical, but it is hard to see how telling the community they should be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity would have compromised the investigation — and the neighbors would have gotten the message.

There is something to be said for vigilance as a default setting. Sisters remains a very safe place to live, but no place is immune from trouble and danger, and recent events across the nation drive that point home. Operating in a state of “relaxed alertness,” aware and vigilant to potential threats — “Condition Yellow” as it is defined by many self-defense instructors — is actually a good and surprisingly satisfying way to live.

That might seem counterintuitive to some folks — too much like “living in fear.” But vigilance is not the same thing as fear. Vigilance is the art of tuning in to the environment, and it can make a person feel vibrantly alive. On those terms, the vigilance the times demand is something we should all embrace.

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief


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