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Constant Change — By John Reed

Constant Change
This time of year, change is spoken of a lot: new resolutions, new habits, new ways of dealing with old problems. We measure those changes against what we think of as old unchanging constants.
In November I buried a family member whose phone number I’d known for 60 years. He was such a fixture in my life as a father figure, he seemed eternal. As I look from the vantage point of my seventh decade, I’m realizing all of the apparently immutable things in my life truly do change, just on such long timelines they only seem permanent.
Politicians are always talking change. Either by making things better or going back to the good old days, they’re preying on our sense that things are bad now. Certainly the ink spilled on this page would have us convinced something needs to change.
Yet the optimist in me sees things better. There’s a reason millions of people cross our border every year. There’s a reason terrorist groups target us more than any other country. There’s a reason the world’s finances are based on the dollar and not other currencies. With all of its perceived faults, we still live in the greatest country in the world.
The basic difference between the two old men vying for the presidency is in the balance between the government and the electorate. Should we be ruled by intrusive omnipresent institutions or should we be left to our own devices?
This argument has been with us since the beginning of the country. The only new aspects are the personalities involved. There are advantages to both approaches and we usually find a balance between the two. So once again we see changes argued within the constant of history.
We see new leadership locally, yet the same challenges present themselves. Other hometown institutions like our schools, hospital, etc. face similar headwinds. And yet, I’m convinced the new year offers hope.
And you? Dear Readers, here’s wishing you a better year ahead!

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