Every week, it hits home. If we thought things were changing rapidly before the pandemic, it is time to view change as the driving force it has become in light of our changing economy, work world, housing crunch, education attitudes, our health care system and privacy issues.

The debate rages on in terms of the vaccination passports. In the meantime, Delta variant case counts climb in parts of the world where vaccination rates are not as high as in Canada. There is talk of world travel again. And sometimes, it feels that we have not changed the way we think at all.

Many are making the most of this time of reduced restrictions because they fully expect another wave of illness and another lockdown.
Vacations are underway; travel plans are being made. And those who have been vaccinated feel safer until they think about those who do not want to be vaccinated.

As we bring you news and stories each week, the shift and changes that occur in our part of the world seem evident to us.
We write this week about the 175th anniversary of a local church congregation, in the face of vastly-reduced numbers of people attending church everywhere. This shift from church attendance to not attending church is not a source of worry to many people. Most people have moved away from weekly church attendance. There is little to no discussion about what attending church meant, about the loss of church communities and further: few are concerned about what will become of these historic buildings.

Over time, we have become members of a society available every waking hour to calls, messages and texts, living an interrupted life that feels meaningless if we are not contacted every few minutes. Concentration on tasks which require thought and creativity is almost impossible. We expect to be pulled away from whatever we are doing–often.

We have become derisive of authority: from police officers to teachers, from lawyers to politicians, to our elected officials and government employees.

Since when do we know better than most of the people who work on our behalf?

And finally, as authorities struggle to fight a pandemic, most of us feel we could have managed the whole thing better.

And yet: few of us will put our money where our mouth is and seek political office where, if elected, we could answer to the crowds of experts who will claim to know better than us at every turn.

Healthy discourse matters, as does taking a larger view of what is happening around us, from the impact of this pandemic on small business, to changes in the workplace, to health care professionals who are beyond exhausted, to climate change.

Think how life has changed in the past 18 months. What have you learned? What can we do different?

What have we learned about airing our differences without insulting or denigrating others?

During this unprecedented time in global history, humanity needs to take a big step forward. If only patience, wisdom and collaboration could spread as quickly as a pandemic.