The Archives still aren’t working. Sorry.

I didn’t bother to transfer any of the photos from our old space because I want to make sure we can get everything working here first. It would be a terrible waste of time to move them all and then have to go back to where we were because I couldn’t get the Archives to work here. But anyway . . .

There’s a new discussion on the Mighty Miramichi Message Board. It’s sort of timely, given all the recent discussion about opportunities for Miramichi youth.

I’m very passionate about this subject. I think we all are at Mighty Miramichi. So excuse me while I pop up onto my soap box for a minute.

I don’t like this attitude that there isn’t anything here and in order to get ahead we have to leave. I don’t know if it was ever true, but if it was true, it certainly isn’t anymore.

With all the technology these days — cell phones, notebook computers, wireless communications, the Internet, etc. — Now more than ever, it’s possible to live anywhere and still work.

Yes, old doors are closing all the time on the Miramichi i.e. forestry, mining, fishing, all those natural resources aren’t what they used to be. But for every door that closes another one opens. There are always opportunities to be had, you just might have to change your way of thinking, let go of the old ways and get creative about it. It might not be easy, but since when have Miramichiers cowered from a little hard work?

If I sound a bit annoyed, it’s because I am. I’m annoyed that the first responses in the discussion offered nothing to this person looking for work, just the dim view that there is nothing here.

In recent weeks there have been some articles published in the local newspaper in which some youth voiced what I see to be the same old concerns young people have been complaining about for decades now.

I don’t blame them really. I remember being young and complaining about all the same stuff. It wasn’t that long ago, I couldn’t wait to get out of high school and get out of here! With the rare exception of one or two people I knew, I think most people felt the same way. It’s part of being young and frustrated and anxious to begin your own life. I think it’s a pretty normal way to feel.

And it’s not even that the complaints aren’t valid, because they are. I think it’s safe to say the majority of people on the river are pretty conservative in their views, not really open to change. And nobody would deny that we desperately need more industry, more job opportunities. The complaints are real.

The problem I have with the people who have been complaining is that they never offer any solutions other than to leave. “Nothing ever changes around here, so I’ve got no choice but to move.”

I firmly believe you should live anywhere you want. If you want to move to New Orleans and you’re happiest making your life there, I encourage you to go and enjoy. I love to move around! I wouldn’t be surprised if I moved a couple of more times in the next ten years. But I won’t be moving because I didn’t have any opportunities here. What I’m talking about are the people who move and then take every available opportunity to complain about it. You know the ones.

“I’d like to move home but there’s no work.”

“I would rather raise my kids in Miramichi but I can’t afford to do it.”

“I’m a very artistic sort of person and nobody on the river appreciates that so I had to leave.”

“There’s nothing to do on the river, I craved excitement and culture.”

They obviously care about the Miramichi, otherwise they wouldn’t say anything; they’d just move to Timbuktu and happily go on with their lives. But they care enough to complain.

However, change doesn’t happen magically all by itself. New businesses don’t just grow out of the ground like potatoes. Art doesn’t just appear in the grass after a rain storm. It takes people to make change.

And I wish these people who care enough to complain would channel that energy into doing something to help bring about the change.

I realise not everyone is an activist capable of changing the world, but we can all do our small part. It’s really as simple as just choosing to stay and participate in our community — work here, vote here, contribute to society.

If enough young people return home after university or when they’re ready to settle down and take an interest in the community, change is inevitable.

But if people continue to do nothing but complain, then I suppose things will just continue as they have been.

Now, let me step off my soap box and give you a chance. Click on that little Comment button below and let me know what you think on this topic.

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