At What Cost, Growth?
Apparently, there was a bit of a dust up in Wasatch County this week with the County Council considering the construction of a temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We talked about it on the radio show and it had me musing and wondering if those who had issues with the proposed temple were life long residents of Heber City, or more recent arrivals.
Don't misunderstand here. Anytime an organization, including a church, plans a project that will have an impact on a neighborhood, that neighborhood has a right, and really a responsibility, to see that the project will be a neighborhood enhancement. Where I do get puzzled is where after there is reasonable explanation of the project, and compromises made to address legitimate concerns, it still doesn't satisfy some.
We are without doubt experiencing unprecedented growth in Utah and with that growth comes things that are both beneficial and detrimental in my view.
In the relentless pursuit of growth, communities often find themselves at a crossroads where progress demands sacrifices. One of the primary casualties is the intangible fabric of cultural identity.
As communities expand, they attract diverse populations, each bringing its own set of values and traditions. In the assimilation of these differences, the unique cultural tapestry of a community may fray, losing some of its distinctive threads. The shared history and traditions that once bound individuals together can be overshadowed by the influx of new perspectives.
Social cohesion, a cornerstone of thriving communities, is not immune to the impacts of expansion. The close-knit relationships forged in smaller settings may erode as communities burgeon. The sheer volume of individuals can dilute the sense of connection among neighbors, leading to a fragmentation of social bonds.
In the pursuit of progress, the communal spirit that once defined the collective identity may give way to a more isolated and impersonal existence.
Community engagement, a vital component of a flourishing society, can suffer in the wake of unbridled growth. Decision-making processes may become centralized, with the voice of the community drowned out by external influences. The very individuals who form the backbone of the community may find themselves disenfranchised, their ability to shape the trajectory of their own habitat diminished.
We have wonderful new residents coming in to our area. We are blessed with the new vitality coming to our community. In all this, however, I think it would be somewhat tragic if the traditions and fabric that has created the wonderful communities where we live some how unwinds.
What we have should be built on, not discarded.
LOOK: Where people in Utah are moving to most
Gallery Credit: Stacker