When It Comes To Progress, How Much Is Too Much For Montana?
I was watching the first episode of the new season of Yellowstone and had the thought, "whoever writes the scripts for the show certainly has a pretty good understanding of what is really happening in Montana."
(Spoiler Alert) In the first episode, the newly sworn Governor John Dutton says that the days of Montana being the playground for the rich and famous are over. I had to chuckle since the man who plays Dutton, Kevin Costner, has a huge ranch in Aspen, Colorado, which is another popular place the rich and famous like to hang out.
However, it got me thinking. There are many Montanans that simply hate progress. They long for days gone by and hate the fact that something they hold so dear to their heart is changing and it doesn't seem that there is much they can do about it, other than be angry and take to social media to complain.
The truth is, the answer to our problems here in Montana simply can't always be, "If you don't like it, go back to where you came from." Why? Well, because a majority of the population of the state came from somewhere else. Just because someone makes a suggestion doesn't mean that they want to change everything about a place.
Here is another bit of info for you: Montana isn't alone when it comes to deciding how much progress is too much. We're seeing this happen all over the west and people continue to flock here.
So, let's talk about it. How much progress is too much progress when it comes to Montana? It seems that entirely depends on who you ask.
Personally, I think we have to find a happy medium. I'm not one of those folks that are ready to throw everything we've always done out the window for whatever latest and greatest trend, but I also don't think progress is a bad thing. I believe you normally find the truth somewhere in the middle.
Things change, and progress happens. You either change with it or you're left behind.
Now, some folks might be perfectly fine with zero progress. Although if I were to guess, I would guess they pick and choose the progress that they like and dislike. I'm assuming most of these "I like the old days better!" wouldn't be willing to give up all of the conveniences that have come over the last several years.
Here is the other big complaint that many Montanans have: "All of these liberals are moving here and ruining everything!"
Most of those folks are moving to either Missoula or Bozeman and this certainly shouldn't be breaking news to anyone, but those two towns were already liberal. Plus, when I moved to Montana back in 2006, the governor was a Democrat, as was one of the U.S. senators. This was before the big migration of "the liberal invasion" that many believe is happening.
Plus, politics aside, Montana has a whole lot of that charm that we all love so much.
You can find it in small towns all across the state. Montana is filled with good people that are more than willing to give a helping hand. I see it all the time in my line of work. Whether it's raising money for kids with cancer or making sure that no locals go without food over the winter, Montanans always show up and help out.
So yes, Montana will continue to grow. New people will move here and new businesses will open. Will they all think like you and me? No, and there will be times that will be super frustrating, but complaining about it won't help and it certainly won't stop it.
Make them feel welcome, be a good example, and kill them with kindness. If we do that we just might be surprised how quickly they start thinking like us.