Resistance to Change

By Sam Low


“You're resistant to change,” says a friend.




I was resistant to accepting my friend's judgment - but eventually I had to. But isn't everybody resistant to change? Especially on the Vineyard! If not, why is it that every time I sit down with friends the conversation ultimately gets around to the changes all around us – and the anxiety that it produces.


“Did you hear that the Smiths sold their house,” they say. Yes, I heard. And the Jones and Blacks and the Browns too.


My neighborhood is an old one. Families have lived here for almost a hundred years. And for the fifty years or so that I can remember, we've been a tightly knit group. New people are moving in – and things are definitely changing.


It's reflected in simple things. Like waving, or nodding, or just recognizing in some small way that we're neighbors. I wave to everybody on our roads – everybody – even those I don't recognize. Used to be they would wave back. Not anymore.


The windows are rolled up – and they're tinted so I just see a dim figure behind the wheel. But he – or she – is staring ahead and is either ignoring me or just doesn't see me. Either way – it's somewhat depressing.


I know. The world is in flames and I'm worried about simple civilities. That's depressing too.


What's happening here is so common that whether the folks I talk to are from Maine , or Vermont , or wherever – they all have similar stories.


“The taxes on my uncle's house went from 2,000 to 20,000 dollars and they just had to sell”


“My grandfather died and we grandkids just didn't want the house anymore – and the money was soooo good.”


Can't blame them really. Though I'd like to. With each new person in my neighborhood there seems to be less cohesion, less friendliness. The place feels more like a suburb. Why?


I suspect that if you have one summer house – or one house period – you live in it pretty intensely. You get to know the folks around you. And depend on them. But if you're here just for a few weeks and maybe rent the rest of the time – well – things change.


There no good reason to suspect that the new folks in our neighborhood won't become friends. New blood is good. Still – why don't they wave?