John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
Every life has seasons and everyone experiences change. Some change is for the better, and some change is difficult and may result in setbacks. But one thing is for sure…change is inevitable.
When I moved to Manchester from Raymond back in 1980, I was a skinny little 8 year old ready to take on my role as a big, bad third grader – I’m totally dating myself here. I did enter the third grade, but I was just not big…or bad. I moved from a small rural town of a little more than 5,400 to a small urban city with a whopping population of almost 91,000. Manchester wasn’t – and still isn’t – a metropolis, but it was quite a change for an 8-year-old to leave his friends and classmates and move to an entirely new place.
Seventeen years later, I found myself moving away from home again…this time from my adopted hometown of Manchester, New Hampshire, which had grown to about 101,000 to the larger and more urban Providence, Rhode Island…population of a little more than 151,000. Not only were there about 50,000 more people living in Providence, it is a much more urban city…and, as my wife puts it, “a place with fewer trees.” (Providence is more of a concrete jungle).
This NH boy also left his home state to move to an entirely new place about 100 miles south. Providence is still New England, but Southern New England is much different than Northern New England. (And let’s not get into the accent, which doesn’t phase me much since my family is from “Southie” [South Boston]). I went through a lot of change with this move…new state, new college, new friends, (including my now wife of over 21 years), new job…new life. (Actually the same life, but with change).
New life seasons are opportunities for change. We leave the old season behind and start anew; we should boldly venture into our new season with great anticipation. We need not dwell on the past because the past is gone. We don’t drive down the road while staring into the rearview mirror…we look ahead. It’s the same with life. We learn from the past but move forward. As Walt Disney said, “Around here, We don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Keep…Moving…Forward.
Who will lead? (More change)
On Tuesday, September 19th, the fine people of our city will be selecting two people to move on to the general election in November, when one will become our next mayor. One of the four, Jay Ruais, Will Stewart, June Trisciani, or Kevin Cavanaugh, will be our next mayor. Our new mayor will be either the political newcomer (Ruais), or a sitting alderman, (Stewart, Trisciani, and Cavanaugh). No matter who wins, a new season will begin in Manchester…a new chapter in its storied history. I’m not going to offer my opinion as to who should win (and many of my friends would be surprised about who I am supporting) but I will write this. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND VOTE!!! Traditionally people do not vote in the municipal primary – they may see it as unimportant, but the fact is that it is important, especially with the ongoing issues of addiction, homelessness, crime, and affordable housing. And honestly, if you don’t vote then don’t complain because decisions are made by those who show up.
As I wrote earlier, “Every life has seasons and everyone experiences change.” I have experienced change in my life. Some have experienced more – or more difficult – change, and some have experienced less. Our value as a human of course doesn’t come from change, but change is part of life.
I am about to personally experience change as on Tuesday (primary day in Manchester in case you forgot). I start a new job. This is a good change. I have a background in the career field that I am transitioning into, and have experience in many facets of my new role. This is a very exciting change for me and I look forward to moving back into the field in which I will serve. This is good change, but it is change, so with it comes uncertainty and a bit of anxiety. For example, I do not yet know the people or the work culture or simple things like where to park and where the break room is. But this is a change that I am more than willing to make.
Life happens, and change happens. Every life has seasons. Soon we will have change at City Hall (and for those that say it will be the same…again, research and vote). Soon I will be experiencing a change; starting a new chapter of my life.
Change can be good; change can be positive. So let’s expect change in our lives and let’s go make some positive change!
As always, you can send comments to me at email@example.com.