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All growth requires a temporary loss of security. –Madeline Hunter

For a village as deeply attached to its particular ways as the Village of Pedro Bay is, even small change can cause enormous amounts of anxiety. And when the change revolves around land use practices, water use practices, and waste or disposal practices, all of which have roots in Native tradition and way of life, results are likely to come with resistance and doubt.

The first concern to address when proposing a change of this nature is a loss of convenience and/or personal pride. Some residents, though not all, may find that the proposal of trash pick-up (for example) is a slight on their ability to do their own housekeeping—especially when a fee is involved. Other residents may find the service a great help and convenience. But those who resist change often feel it is a threat to their way of life, their livelihood, or even just their habits or practices, causing a disruption to the way things have ‘always been run’ in the past.

While it is important to take this kind of protection and resistance into consideration, it is unnecessary, even detrimental to allow it to halt or even slow the process of growth (or change), particularly when it concerns health and safety issues like this environmental plan does. People will always put up stinks and raise issues when they don’t like what you are doing, but I have found that those with legitimate claims often find a productive and honest way to approach you and inform you of their opinions. Often, I say, not always. But it is true: those with minor claims often make the largest fuss or the loudest cry and, when approached about their complaint, frequently find their voices muted—though physical gruffness and posturing still appear.

But others deeply want change, and want to see things improve. They understand that to build a better way of life, we have to give up the old way and live in that area of uncertainty for as long as it takes for the strong and new to become established. For those who have faith in God the Father, this becomes less of an ordeal because the strength required to wait comes from above, and is ever-giving, while our own strength and our own ability to give, is finite, it ends, and often lands us back in the throes of that fear and anxiety we experience when change comes.

The other thing I have found, and I believe this is very integral to change or lack of it, and also very deeply ingrained in education or lack of it, is that to become educated, one must admit that one does not know things. It is said that the aim of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one, and that is indeed one direction to take, but that assumes that everyone who begins a course of learning, or formal education, enters the fray with an empty mind…. And we all know that isn’t true.