I used to think about people born near the beginning of the century (last century…these days you actually have to qualify that statement). If someone was born in 1900, they lived though a time when man was unable to fly until a man landed on the moon. It only took 66 years to accomplish that. In the span of human events, that’s a blink of an eye.
Now, think about some of the changes you’ve seen since you were old enough to remember. It really doesn’t matter how old you are. Of course, the older you are, the more changes you’ve seen, but just think back in recent decades. In the 60’s, African-Americans were finally granted civil rights. In the 70s, women were fighting for equal rights. In recent years, we’ve seen gays and lesbians get some rights, including the right to marry and now we’re talking about transgender rights, too. The internet has made our lives, well, different. In the 80’s, if you had a car phone, you were rich. Now, if you DON’T have a cell phone, you’re unusual. Things we thought would always be around are dwindling or gone…newspapers, malls, phone books, cursive writing.
Poeple get nostalgic for ‘the good old days’. People also decry disposing of traditional ways of doing things for newer methods using new technology. You may think that’s new, but it happens to every generation. I remember when cable TV finally made it to my neighborhood in Wood River, IL. They hooked up our house for a free trial. My parents weren’t impressed and said, “why would I pay for TV when I have 5 perfectly good channels to choose from for free!” Today, I’m paying triple-figures for cable. But…now the next step in that progress is to unplug from cable and use rabbit ears and your computer. That might have seemed like a quick transition, but it actually took about 50 years. Remember again, it took only 66 years to get from no-fly to landing on the moon, so that 50 years is actually a long time.
It’s human nature to abhor change. We like the familiar. We like the rut we get into, so when someone proposes something new that affects us, automatically our defenses go up. Everytime a new development gets proposed for the Myrtle Beach area, everyone who lives in the vicinity automatically thinks the worst and fears it was adversly affect their everyday lives in some manner. So….they’re against it. After it gets built, in about 6 months you forget what the area looked like before it went up and it becomes a part of your normal life. The city of Myrtle Beach is contemplating some changes. I’m not privy to any plans, but they could be significant.
As I’ve said on the air several times, mall owners know that they have to re-vamp every 20 to 25 years to stay vital. If they don’t, it becomes stale and people stop coming. Disneyland continuously adds to their theme parks to make sure that each time you visit, you can have a new experience. The city of Myrtle Beach is trying to guard against becoming stale. The main draw always was and will be the beach. But what we build around the beach determines whether or not people continue to return or they find someplace new and more exciting. That’s where change comes in. The city knows they need to make some additions to the downtown area and probably some big ones. It’s not something a new coat of paint and a couple of palmetto trees will do. It order to make sure Myrtle Beach remains the go-to spot on the East Coast, we ned to think outside the box. That will most likely resuly in big changes. Changes you might not like at first. Changes that will make you want to complain and write letters to the editor. Changes that will make you want to vote out the current administration. Before you get out the torches and pitchforks, give the new ideas a chance. Let’s see if the city fathers can do what’s necessary to keep Myrtle Beach top of mind in the eyes of the tourists. It’ll take commitment on their parts, and on yours.
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