We had it once. We suspect it’s still there. We need it again.
Last week’s Progress Edition detailed story after story of the industrial energy that once drove Sandusky.
Through most of those stories ran a thread of lamentation, a sense of longing for the Sandusky that was.
We’ve all heard the stories, again and again. The economy’s changed, gone global. We don’t make stuff anymore, or at least nowhere near what we used to.
In other words, the auto plants and big manufacturers that once were the foundation of the Sandusky area’s economy will very soon not play the dominant role they had played since World War II and before.
Before we lament, though, we have to remember one thing: Those big plants weren’t always there. Their advent represented a sea change from what came before, and another such sea change is upon us now.
It might also be useful to remember the word "nostalgia" is rooted in older words that mean "past" and "pain." The oldest clinical sense of the word signified an unhealthy attachment to the past, not just a wistful remembrance of days gone by.
In other words, it's time we took an aspirin for that pain.
It took energy, ambition and vision to build those plants and keep them running all those years. Are we, today, the same sort of people who designed, built and ran those industries?
We think so. If anything, we’ve had to get smarter, savvier, more adaptable as machines left their mark on the way we did things — then changed it altogether.
We think the same energy is there today. Are we ready to figure out what it will take to be as successful a community in this new world as we were in the last?