Charlie Teljeur: The winds of change
|By Charlie Teljeur - Contributing Writer | August 23, 2018|
It’s often assumed that change is most prominent in larger urban centres mainly because of the inherent social pace that exists in highly-populated areas. The water simply flows faster there. But, as much as that’s been the traditional model, things— ironically—are about to change. Change itself, how it happens and where it occurs, is itself changing and rural areas like ours are smack dab at its epicentre.
It seems odd to consider a passive area like Haliburton County to be nearer the tip of the sword when it comes to social and economic transformation. We’re back country, conservative in nature and generally slow to adapt and adopt. But, that’s precisely why it will happen here. This movement has picked up the pace entirely because of technology, but the change itself is not limited to just technology. This is about way more than just faster internet and few mobile dead zones.
Those are simply the conduits to change. Equate it to building bigger highways. Not only does the pace pick up, but so does everything that comes with it. You get more and you get it faster. This is the biggest element we’re going to have to deal with and the one with the most hand wringing for some.
Having the ability to watch videos on your phone or to do a video call while sitting on your dock is the easy part. What about the financial and societal change that comes with it? The more we’re open to the world, the more the world is open to us. We’ve seen that in a relatively (“relatively”, in Haliburton County terms that is) massive way.
Seems our demographics change daily. We’re starting to resemble more of the world whether we like it or not. I mean this way beyond simple ethnic diversity. Who we are, what we are and what we want to become is squarely in question whether it’s social or economic.
You, the collective we, need to figure this out. What we all have to appreciate is that we’re not alone in this. Countless communities all over the country, all over the world for that matter, see change at their doorstep and how they react to it will define them for decades to come. Those from the city, for example, are contemplating life in the country as a truly viable option more than ever before. The social and lifestyle benefits have always been obvious, but now the economics are starting to make sense to them as well.
Businesses that may not have been possible or even sane some years ago to establish here now have a fighting chance. I’m not advocating installing turnstiles at the county lines. Allowing unfettered growth is not beneficial now or in the long run. Doing so would only destroy the very things that make us so attractive now. This is why developing a collective ethos and strategy for change is so important. The question is no longer about whether change is coming to Haliburton County or not, but about how we intend to deal with it as it arrives.
Charlie Teljeur is a contributing writer for The Highlander.