The winds they are a changing… will it be a hurricane or a summer breeze. No, not talking about the weather but governance, locally and globally. Like it or not, the world is in for a paradigm shift. The question is, will the shift happen to us or will we to it?
I look around and see whole political systems being overhauled and social fabrics being torn apart by festering injustices and poverty. In contrast, the Concordia Neighborhood appears as though we are doing quite well… or are we?
Events are driving changes
I think most of us would agree on that assessment and consider ourselves fortunate not to experience the unrest we have seen in the news almost daily. The severity and impact of these events are driving changes which were usually initiated by leadership within political parties. Now, matters have become so pressing citizens have, in some cases, scrapped their representatives or taken the discussion to the street.
Change is inevitable and typically understood with a 20/20 hindsight perspective. The Concordia Neighborhood is no stranger to change thanks to the many who dedicated themselves to creating the Renaissance. Concordia has become one of Portland’s most desirable neighborhoods.
So no wonder we can look at the rest of the world and tell ourselves all is good. Being fortunate enough to recently move here three years ago, I and others like me are the beneficiaries of these people’s efforts, but can we sit back and go for the proverbial “free ride”? This inheritance of prosperity and wellbeing is only a gift and requires us to be proactive in its preservation if we hope to expect the same future for our children.
Looking into the crystal ball, Concordia looks like it is going in the right direction, but then again, Republican and Democratic party structures had been moving along as though the road ahead were wide open. Assumptions should also be accompanied with reality checks from time-to-time if we are going to be an inclusive society and avoid reversal of fortune.
Foresight needed, not just hindsight
When looking in the rear-view mirror, each and every one of us knows what could have and should have been done to prevent the disturbing events of late. If we are going to heal the world, what we really need is to refocus our 20/20 hindsight to foresight. Let’s take those criticisms and observations about past events and ask ourselves not what we should have done but what will we do to promote wellbeing.
Each one of us is capable of bringing positive changes without having to lead the charge. Change happens in incremental stages and, dependent on small events, eventually connecting to bring about change. We can be the force for a better future just by taking small opportunities to step out of our comfort zone, reaching out to others or when we join an organization of like-minded folks.
Each of these activities lets others know who we are and what is important to us. And like the great philosopher Raffi has said, the more we come together the happier we’ll be. Let’s not make any assumptions going forward, let’s have more conversations no matter if it is about skinny houses or garden club news. Let’s have an understanding and appreciation for the other… not a bad formula for peace.
Lastly, Portland city commissioner Amanda Fritz has been rescheduled to appear at the November general meeting of the association. Please send me your vision for our neighborhood — one year, five years and 15 years from now — to see if Amanda is on the same page as we are, or if she needs to adjust her vision for our future.
Isaac Quintero Chair
Concordia Neighborhood Association