“Don’t turn your back on the future because of your fear of what comes next; instead, turn your face forward with a focus on the opportunity!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
‘’ That was the essence of my talk last night for the Chamber of Commerce of the Town of the Blue Mountains, Ontario, Canada.
In other words, don’t be like the people of Iowa.
ToBM, as it is known, is interesting town – it’s north of Toronto, a ski resort community, agricultural hub, tourism destination and more. It’s a mix of retirees moving north from the city, young people seeking a more adventurous, healthy lifestyle, and the traditional residents, some of whom are suspicious of progress and change. It is suffering from the typical issues that come with growth – such as a shortage of service workers – people who are different. Ah, that debate!
It’s also my home away from home during the winter months and some portion of the summer – we own a ski chalet there, and spend much time on weekends on the slopes.
I had some downtime in my schedule, they had need of a speaker for their AGM, and so our schedules worked out for me to come in and give a talk.
And as with everywhere else, there is a bit of a debate between the conservative old guard, and the progressive new arrivals. This plays out a bit in the local press, town hall meetings and more. Some of the more negative aspects of the current US political divide sometimes creep in.
I am convinced that the wave of negative political thinking that dominates the US today comes from a group of people who simply don’t like the future. They’d like the world to be just like it was in 1950 – not diverse, not moving fast, not global. They fear the future and everything it represents in terms of change. They long for the ‘good old days.’ And so they vote for someone who promises to take them back to where they once were, rather than where they might go forward if they align themselves to the inviolable trends of today.
My message last night – don’t be like them. Turn the future into one of opportunity through action, not an uglier future driven by fear.’’