Facebook threw me this advert this morning:
"Want to create blog content FAST - without having to write a single line of text?
Download our 'Perfect Blog Post Template' and get your post up and running Today!"
Really? Well, maybe we don't all write blogs for the same reason. It seems silly to me, but then I look at blogging as a form of self-expression. Although, when I wake up at six am and know I have to walk out the door at seven-thirty, the idea of an automatic blog-writing product is awfully tempting.
Facebook also reminded me that five years ago today we hosted a party at my house to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Oakland Mills Walgreens. The progress of that corner in my neighborhood from abandoned, boarded- up bank to "the corner of happy and healthy" was anything but fast. Thanks to naysayers who had nothing else to do with their time but show up and oppose it, bringing a healthy, functioning business to Oakland Mills took what felt like forever.
And let's not forget going door-to-door getting people to sign a petition opposing the Walgreens, while disseminating lies of how it would destroy the Village Center and attract a "bad element" to our village. That took time. Time to break down what other people were trying to build up. Time to spread fear and anger.
My mother taught me to cast a questioning eye on things marked "new and improved." I understand that one cannot simply jump for joy every time a project dressed in the clothing of "progress" walks down the street. There should be plenty of learning, and thinking, and discussing--which is why Howard County has procedures in place for doing just that.
So we're probably never going to see a product advertising:
"Want to create progress FAST - without having to fight a single angry mob?
Download our "Perfect Progress Template" and get your project up and running Today!"
Ain't gonna happen, as they say. If progress has many parents, it also has many detractors. Some folks come to the party with the desire to go backwards. Some desperately cling to whatever they've got right now. And some have absolutely no idea what's going on, because they are busy living their lives and no one has made the case to them to tune in to local issues.
The groundbreaking for Walgreens is behind us. The groundbreaking for the Chrysalis ampitheater is fresh in our minds. In Oakland Mills the County is offering an opportunity to improve a long-neglected apartment complex. I wonder how that will go over?
"When you feel how depressingly slowly you climb, it's well to remember that hings ake ime." -- Piet Hein