Editorial: Dealing with doomsayers

Stalled projects, action plans and appropriate self-defence measures

by Andru McCracken, Editor


“The era of good is gone,” they say.  A fresh batch of converts sing in haunting harmony how things are getting worse.

“We’re damned,” they cry.

“All is lost,” they wallow.

The worshippers of doom gather together in tiny cliques converting community members one at a time.

I’ve studied this particular cult in depth, and what I can tell you for sure is that these people would say the same thing regardless of the circumstance. It’s just how they are.  But they won’t stop until their dark predictions come true in a Jonesian tragedy.

The high priests and priestesses perform minor miracles to show their path is true. They take a half full glass and after whispering dark and arcane incantations over it then they suddenly reveal it to be half empty. Bystanders gasp in amazement.

“The town is dying,” they chant in McBride, convincing others to join their village death cult.

“Nothing will ever happen here,” they clamour in Valemount.

The conventional approach to these naysayers is to avoid them.

Don’t.

Don’t run away from an angry hungry beast that’s been stalking you without pause.

Use the same method for mountain lions and hyenas: make yourself looking bigger than you are, and don’t take your eyes off them. Stand your ground, and if you’ve got the courage, smile and chant quietly, “The sky is not falling.”

It’s really the only option, lest you be attacked and transformed into their number.

It’s true that today’s generations are no longer entitled to full benefits and pensions at most jobs. Dental care, a booming population and a vibrant economy are but faint memories.

But strip the entitlements away and we realize we are left with the same raw world that a generation of settlers recognized as a place of awesome potential. The difference between a settler and a doomsayer is that the settler expected they were going to have to work.

Three generations ago, people moving to this valley were delighted to happen upon these circumstances, glad to leave the misery, and dust of failed farms in Alberta. They moved here for the opportunity to carve out a life.

I hear doom and gloom all the time, and sometimes from very convincing people, but I’d sooner get my predictions from discarded tea leaves.

My advice is simple: Don’t run from doomsayers of the Robson and Canoe Valleys, stand up tall.

The future is as bright as were willing to make it.

It just takes work.

Did you know the Goat could not operate without people buying the newspaper? Subscribe today!