“People are very open-minded about new things as long as they’re exactly like the old ones.” Charles Kettering
It may or may not be “human nature” to resist change–some people welcome new things, others don’t–but in our corner of the universe, history shows that certain folks have always been vigorous in their opposition to the Next Big Thing. And, like any community of a certain age, our area has seen many changes.
Go back as far as you like: canals have been dug, widened, filled in; horse-drawn streetcar lines were installed, motormen replaced the horses, the lines were dug up and paved over; Oneida County’s “new courthouse” was built in the 1850s, served its purpose and was succeeded by another “new courthouse,” in 1909. And Bagg’s Hotel, a place of truly historical significance, declined and was torn down to provide employment during the Great Depression–thanks to Maria Munson (Williams) Proctor. Change challenges preservation, as the needs of the living compete with the accomplishments of the departed.
We may like it, or not. We can embrace it, or not. But change comes, nonetheless. And since each change is an opportunity, a major change is a major opportunity. In the case at hand (did we say “new hospital” yet?), questions have been raised and will continue to be asked, rightfully so. And there are answers; there are, in fact, reasonable solutions to all the seemingly insoluble problems some continue to describe.
Together, as a community, we can and will move forward. And someday people won’t remember what all the fuss was about.