Sunday, January 18, 2009

The leopard's spots are permanent. Bring on the tigers!

Sometimes change is so elusive it could just make you cry. Especially when ‘our control’ is beyond change . . .

My town lost its main industry and went into a ‘transition’ phase a few years back. All official plans and efforts have fallen short of restoring our former glory. We once had the highest per capita income in all of Canada . . . and the population was double its present number.

A couple of weeks ago on a local forum, the chat turned to finding GREAT ideas for revitalizing the town. The bandwagon got crowded very quickly and the atmosphere was heady and exciting.

Creative juices were spilling over, ideas big and small tumbling, the energy palpable; and at the crest of the tide a meeting was held. It was well attended, too, considering it was the night Grissom said goodbye.

Even live blogging for those of us who couldn’t get out to the meeting. Good stuff.

That was just last Thursday.

By this afternoon, as the comments and discussion continued on the local forum, it became clear that no matter what you do, leopards can’t change their spots.

A group that had happily embraced the ‘think outside the box’ and ‘let’s have great big hairy audacious ideas’ mantra; that declared itself open to all ideas and possibilities . . . is now mired in the minute details about rules, order and which idea is ‘worth’ pursuing.

Sigh. Just when I thought we could finally get outside the box and stay there long enough to see the horizon.

Just when I thought we had the makings of a revitalization incubator . . . community support to nurture and hatch all the dream eggs and grow a healthy future together, with many visions and no limit to the possibilities. Nosiree bob.

In the space of no time at all, the mantra is: prioritize the worthwhile, shelve the ‘other stuff.’ Attempt only the do-able, dump what isn’t immediately apparent. Go with the obvious, the known, the norm . . . And the reason? Because that’s how it’s always been done, and we shall do no other.

So, “we’re leopards. We can’t change our spots. And you must be a leopard, too.”

Pity . . . was nice to catch a glimpse of the horizon and what might have been.

I’m praying the next generation emerges as tigers. They’d better, or we leopards are doomed. It’s not just our spots we can’t change.

Picture credit: here


  1. Nailed it. The spots. You nailed the spots to the wall.
    Well done my friend.
    My thoughts exactly...can't get past naming yourself is not a good sign of things to come.
    You did you best, you tried to move them off it but no avail. Its all you can do...send a little hope out there, you never know.

  2. I used to say we live in hope, but my best friend reminded me one day that Hope is the other side of Chilliwack, LOL.

    The hope I can muster is this. That those who feel let down by the fizzle of a dud roman candle won't allow their own flame to dwindle.

    Come on, folks. Heft that torch and carry on!


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