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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Change is Good

A drunk stumbles along a baptismal service on Sunday afternoon down by the river. He proceeds to walk down into the water and stand next to the Preacher.

The minister turns and notices the old drunk and says, “Mister, are you ready to find Jesus?”

The drunk looks back and says, “Yess, Preacher … I sure am.”

The minister then dunks the fellow under the water and pulls him right back up. “Have you found Jesus?” the preacher asked.

“Nooo, I didn’t!” said the drunk.

The preacher then dunks him under for quite a bit longer, brings him up and says, “Now, brother, have you found Jesus?”

“Noooo, I did not Reverend.”

The preacher in disgust holds the man under for at least 30 seconds this time, brings him out of the water and says in a harsh tone, “My Good man, have you found Jesus yet?”

The ole drunk wipes his eyes and says to the preacher… “Are you sure this is where he fell in?”

Most people would agree that John F. Kennedy and Ralph Waldo Emerson were both highly revered for the opinions they held. Kennedy once said “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” And Emerson is quoted “Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.” Today I believe that fear of change has created a world full of cowardly conformists that are afraid of their own shadow. We are in real need of people with faith and bravery, people that are original thinkers who aren’t afraid to be authentic and swim against the current, no matter what “society” says about it.

Many people fear change, but according to Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson it’s also that they genuinely believe (often on an unconscious level) that when you’ve been doing something a particular way for some time, it must be a good way to do things. And the longer you’ve been doing it that way, the better it is. So change isn’t simply about embracing something unknown — it’s about giving up something old (and therefore good) for something new (and therefore not good). This bias to the status quo is in nearly all of us.

There is hope. It’s not impossible to overcome an unconscious bias, but if you want to succeed you need to start realizing that it’s there. Change and innovation require that we not only convince others that new can be good, but that we address their (often unconscious) assumption that what’s been around longer looks, works, and is better. Take some time to pause and reflect on all that has changed and that is going to change. The older I get the more I realize that life is rarely perfect and it’s almost never easy. But in the end, it’s up to us—and no one else—to make change happen.



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