An uncomfortable, realistic constant

It seems that the only real thing that is constant is that of change. Change in who we are and what we believe in comes as we grow and learn about the world in which we live. Change in our environment comes whether we want it or not, and that is what is happening today.

If you are a believer in the idea of global warming, then you most probably believe that the recent hurricane activity, melting of the ice caps, and warmer temperatures confirms your way of thinking. If, however, you are like others who believe that all changes in the earth’s atmosphere are cyclical and this too must run its course, then you need to supply some evidence leading to your hypothesis.

Other than changes in our climatic environment, there is also change in the political arena. President Trump recently threw a curve ball to the members of the GOP when he chided Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell publicly, while siding with Senator Schumer and House Minority Leader Pelosi. It makes one scratch their head and wonder what he is up to now. Maybe he is falling back on his original political leanings as a Democrat (and just when I changed my political affiliation to move away from him).

And then we have the Buffalo Bills winning their first NFL Game of the season – now that is a change that I hope continues, it is time to see Tyrod and Shady bring us a winning season.

The residents of Texas and Florida are awakening to major changes in their lives. From the flooding of homes, destruction of property and loss of lives, these people need the help and support of everyone, for their lives have now been forever changed. Harvey and Irma have certainly left their marks.

But can we control the path change takes? Can we decide what steps to take in order to improve our lives, our environment and our earth? Is there something more that we can do to help those who are suffering to heal?

This past weekend here in Dunkirk we have seen the Walk against Alzheimer’s. This is a horrible disease and one that doesn’t stop with just the person directly affected, it stretches its tentacles into the very core of those who must stand by and watch their loved one’s memories and voice stolen. Eventually this will change, but not without the generosity and help of others to fund research for a cure.

Change! We become stagnant in our way of thinking too often and refuse to see the other side of things. The young man calls the old one stodgy and past his time, and the old man calls the young one a smart-aleck and a whipper snapper who needs some humility. When both refuse to change their way of thinking about the other an impasse is often the result with little room for compromise. Stubbornness is often the root of catastrophe. And that is what we have going on with Kim Jung Un in North Korea.

Another missile test; another red line; another threat which all seems to be leading to lives lost due to arrogance and, yes, stubbornness. Did I forget to mention provocative tweets? In this arena, we definitely need a change.

Change! This has been a year in which there were many changes. We have a president who has no idea of how the government works. We have threats against our country coming from a maniacal and egotistical man who has had members of his own family assassinated. Our ice caps are melting and falling into the oceans. Hurricanes are stronger than anything we have seen in decades, we have gone through one of the warmest years in record keeping history. We continue to see our poor population increase while our schools, villages, towns and cities struggle to maintain services without raising taxes. The economy seems to be looking up here in the north end of the county, but there is still a great deal of work to do. Yes, times they are a changing!

With all of the anxieties that change might invoke in us, there is one constant. I refer you to Malachi 3:6 in which we are told “I the LORD do not change.”

We read in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Change! It comes whether we want it to or not, it is called living. I will, therefore, trust that God will indeed make things right. That our eyes will be opened to the ways in which we are destroying our earth that he made for us. I will trust our leaders to protect us, be conservative with our tax dollars, and continue to work toward bringing our country, villages, towns and cities into a new time of progress.

There should be one position we should all commit to never changing, however, that of keeping our country free from hate, discrimination, and terrorism. I would be remiss if I didn’t speak to the anniversary of 9/11. The despicable and heinous actions taken by men of hate indeed changed our country — this was a most horrific act against all that we as Americans should stand for, and we must be determined to never allow such evil to happen again.

Change! It happens.

Have a great day.

Vicki Westling is a Dunkirk resident. Send comments to