Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Worth Celebrating

It's been about a year, I think, since the Facebook page was founded. "Celebrating Columbia, MD, and its Future" has done just that. It has seen a few heated discussions, but overall has been true to its goal:

It is not meant to replace the popular "You Know you Grew up in Columbia" FB page, but to instead provide a better forum for more in depth, civil discussions about the future of Columbia, with an eye on the past and inclusive of all views. The posts here will be monitored by admins only to keep the peace, with minimal intervention or attendee changes. Let's help impact Columbia's future!

Over the last year, two main themes have emerged. 1) Beauty in nature. I continue to be amazed at the variety of nature and wildlife photos taken here in Columbia. They have given me an appreciation of our dedicated Open Space in a way that no written description ever could. 2) Progress. But not the progress you might think.

Once of the posters highlights historic photos of Columbia as it was being built. Since I was not here from the beginning, this has been fascinating for me. It's also interesting to learn from all the comments providing feedback. It's an ongoing oral history, in a way.

"Progress: 1972" is, of course, not the same as "Progress: 2015". Everyone can get behind the progress in the old photos. It's the progress that they came here to be a part of. The progress that created their homes. The progress that is their shared history. "Progress: 1972" is a shared comfort zone for many.

I often wonder if the poster's intent is also to quietly suggest that if it was progress to create the new and exciting in 1972, that it can be progress to create the new and exciting in 2015. I don't know. It may be merely to highlight their shared experience and reminisce. Who knows?

But, as the goal of the page is to "celebrate Columbia and its future", I am hoping his pictures have a deeper meaning for us. James Rouse once said that he hoped Columbia would never be finished.

When Wilde Lake was dedicated in 1967 James Rouse remarked that he hoped Columbia would never be finished, that the community would continue to develop and that the residents who would come to call Columbia home would be actively engaged in the process. That has proven to be true and the history of Columbia is an ongoing story.

Columbia Village elections are this Saturday, April 25th. Does your village have a contested election? Do they need you to vote to establish a quorum in order to validate election results? Don't let this election pass you by. Even if you have never voted before, use this as your chance to be "actively involved in the process." Learn what that means. Call your Village Assoctaion to find out what you need to do.

If you vote, if you encourage your friends and neighbors to vote, if you learn more about how it all works than you have known before--then that will be progress.

And that's worth celebrating.


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