Opinion: Being a part of inevitable change

The past few weeks have seen announcements with the potential to contribute to a fundamental change in our community.

It started with an announcement that a section of Highway 14 would be transformed into a four-lane.

The announcement evoked a hue and cry in some quarters about process and priorities.

Days later, another announcement augered the way for improved health care services for the community.

Not enough, said some. Too little too late, said some.

On Friday, a ribbon cutting for the five-storey Knox Centre took place, promising access to affordable housing for low to moderate income residents.

Densification was raised as a concern.

And, finally, for the coffee junkies out there, there was a funding announcement that brought Timmy’s a wee bit closer to reality but drew inevitable gripes about government funding for First Nations business.

While there were also those who applauded each initiative, the announcements and some of the negative responses drove home the point that Sooke is changing and that change is happening fast.

It also reinforced that, for some, change can be a painful, frightening experience.

That’s part of the reason people have always had a tendency to look to the past with decidedly rose-coloured glasses. It’s a comfortable view after all, somehow safer and more serene, but it’s also a view that tends to obscure the negative aspects of the past and provide focus only on what has been lost while stoking our natural fear of an unknown future.

But looking backward can prevent us from looking to an inevitable future in which our community will grow and evolve. Without that vision, the ability to contribute to shaping the future is lost.

At its best, a community creates its future by first embracing empathy and going beyond self-interests and nostalgia to embrace a concern for the entire community as it exists today and will exist in the future.

We need to seriously look to the needs of the community as it is today while considering what those needs will be as the community grows and evolves.

At certain times in every person’s life, every person is tempted to become a Luddite. There’s always something we would like to go back to, a time, a life, or a place that no longer exists But to be opposed to all change and to fail to celebrate positive changes in the abstract is simply folly.