Challenging the mantra of change |

Challenging the mantra of change

Roger Marolt

Change is inevitable. I wonder if that’s true. Is the statement so widely accepted that it needs no proof? The expression, used to justify so many things, has become an expedient to end all arguments against those very things:It’s a shame that we don’t have that little drugstore on the corner anymore. It was a nice place to buy a soda and a magazine on an afternoon stroll through the mall. The real estate office there now is dull.Ah well, change is inevitable.I miss that old theater they used to have here, too. Remember the excitement of waiting in line for the one show they had each night? Hardly anyone cared what it was. The owner had a big fistful of cash he made change with, right there at the door. You don’t see an operation like that anymore. I wish they hadn’t gotten rid of it. That was more than a great place to see a movie. It was an entertainment in itself!Yeah, but we have to keep moving forward.How about that cool old green Victorian in the West End? Gee, can it have been gone for that long now? I bet I walked past that place a hundred times and barely ever noticed it. It’s funny how quickly you forget something like that. And yet, I can almost still picture it. It’s pointless to try. It’s gone. The wheels have to keep churning if we’re going to stay ahead.Whatever happened to that fun little Mexican food restaurant? Wasn’t it a gas to head over there for a margarita at happy hour? You’d see everyone in town there, a true gathering spot. They’ll never be able to duplicate that.Things can’t stay the same forever.Remember having a beer out on the deck of that little bar at the base of the mountain, watching everyone skiing down? If you weren’t careful, you might find yourself dancing in ski boots under the disco ball at midnight. Ha, ha, those were the days! Nobody who was here then would think this is better now. A few guests staying at the five-star hotel that replaced it might. But, that’s only because it’s preferable to the places where they made their fortunes. Come now. You can’t live in the past!Did we get a Christmas card from the Joneses this year? It’s been a long time since we’ve seen them … I was so sure we were going to stay in touch … couldn’t have asked for better neighbors. Before they moved, I couldn’t imagine anyone ever getting tired of the rat race here. Where’d they end up, was it Minneapolis, or Chicago? Oh heck, you can’t cry about that. Everyone has to move on, eventually.What have we done to our town? Where’s the charm? Where’s the character? Where are the characters? I don’t care what anyone says, this place isn’t as good as it used to be. Sure, it’s better than “the city,” but are we expected to cling to that until it isn’t anymore? Look, it’s fine … it’s great … just great. But you know, change is unavoidable. Hey look, this subject is sort of bringing me down. Can we talk about something else for awhile? (do do dootle dootle da ta babing!) Excuse me, that’s my cell phone ringing.Don’t answer it! We were beginning to have an actual conversation for the first time in … in I don’t know how long! It wasn’t so bad in the days before we had those damn things, before we were in touch with everyone else, every minute of the day!Now, now there. You can’t get in the way of progress.I know, I know … it’s … it’s been a hard day. I’m tired. I was looking so forward to a night at home, doing nothing. Cuddling with you and a good book on the sofa sounded so good. Then I remembered Johnny’s at hockey until 8, afterwards he’ll need a ride to play practice. Mary has a guitar lesson until 7, volleyball until 8:30 and then she’s heading over to Janet’s to finish the IB science project that’s due tomorrow. We have to pick her up by 10, otherwise she’ll never get all of her reading finished! Oh, why do we schedule so much for them? It’s killing us!That’s the way of the world, sweetie. You want what’s best for the kids. They have to be able to compete out there. The world is a different place today. You can’t go back. You have to adapt. Change is inevitable. I understand … It’s just that … well, you keep saying that change is inevitable and we have to accept all of these things that are making us crazy, because there is nothing we can do about it. At the same time it seems to me that the only reason we believe change is inevitable is because we refuse to change ourselves! You get it? We can’t accept things the way they come to us. We always want more, better, faster! We’re programmed to reject the status quo. We’re destined to change everything around us because we can’t adapt! Change is not inevitable, it’s impossible! Hey, hey, there now, calm down. It’s all right. You’re getting carried away about all of this. Look at the positive side of progress. Modern medicine can easily cure many ailments that would have killed us only decades ago! We can get good food and safe drinking water almost anywhere on the planet! Houses are bigger and sturdier! Transportation is faster, safer and more reliable these days! Your mother lives a thousand miles away, and you can see her within hours if you want to! Entertainment is excellent. Education is good. We have a nearly infinite body of reference at our fingertips. We’re able to accomplish more in less time than ever before in history! So, what are you trying to tell me now?Well, it’s just this simple: You have to take the bad with the good. Roger Marolt believes that, in many cases, doing nothing is underrated. If you feel compelled otherwise, contact him at

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