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Monday 16 January 2012

Change is the only Constant

No matter what the sector, topic or issue change is truly the only constant. We often try hard to hold on to the past but it is like trying to close your hands tighter to hold onto water, it just doesn't work. As a province we hold our past and our traditions to very high esteem, as we should. Unfortunately that leaves us even less likely to accept or embrace change and the evidence of this can be found in most every sector of the economy, and it is especially true of the fishery.

The problem is often compounded by the fact that we are so afraid of change that we run from it. This leaves us in such a precarious position. There is an old saying that if you don't manage change then it will manage you, and this is the reality that we have been living with for many decades here in NL.

Our history is vivid and so very dear to us, but it is ripe with examples of change being fought against as opposed to planned for. It is a difficult thing to do but strategically planning a route through oncoming change is the best way to hold on to those things we care for while still being able to adapt to new situations.

While the fishery is a great example of this unwillingness to change it is only one example. You could easily look to forestry, pulp and paper, mining, and even the shape and operation of our government as glaring examples of how afraid we are of trying something different. Our current Provincial government structure is woefully inadequate yet there is very little desire for change. We have changed as a province yet our government has remained stagnant in it's shape, function and operation. There have been some changes but that have been slow, poorly managed and developed and only come when there were absolutely no remaining alternatives. we have been dragged into the 21st Century kicking and screaming.

We need to look forward, determine what we want our future to be and build the province, the economy and the government we want to have in years to come. It isn't always an easy thing to do but it is certainly better then the alternative of always responding and reacting instead of planning and being proactive.

We have the ability to set our own course, to manage our own destiny but we have to have the courage to grasp it and the integrity to be flexible enough to recognize what goals and ideals are core to who we are and keep those in the forefront of everything we do. It is the only way to avoid living in the past.    

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