Dillon Collins: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Change is something that’s been on my mind quite a lot these days. Personally, professionally, socially, economically, politically – all the lly’s.

On a personal note, by the end of this year I’ll be Mr. Collins proper, finally tying the knot with my best friend of over a decade – a welcome and appreciated formality that is long overdue, but realistically only a label ontop of the happiness I and we already feel.

The turn of the annum will also make me an uncle – by marriage – which is exciting, amazing and terrifying all at the same time. I think of it as an amazing test-run for parenting. All of the fun bits without the continued responsibility and financial nit-picking. Let’s see how I shape up.

Change in this Place

Getting the mushy me-stuff out of the way, I see a change in this place, in Newfoundland and Labrador. I see it weekly, monthly and yearly and it is not always for the better.

I’ve gotten kicked around a scatter time in my life for not being the typical Newfoundlander, or for not feeling ‘happier or more appreciative’ for who I am and where I come from.

Let me tell you first, lovely readers, that I’m a proud and patriotic Newfoundlander. Just because I don’t express it with boil ups, vienna sausages and trips in the cabin doesn’t make me any less a Newfoundlander than Buddy and all his Wassisnames. That would be profiling, and profiling is wrong.

Stop it now… Get on track Dillon.

Change, in our province, is something I’ve seen gradually, but is one that has likely eroded away day-by-day for my entire lifetime. I was likely so blind, head down in a smart-phone or childlike sense of obliviousness to notice before.

Now, with eyelids forcibly opened, I see things I’m not liking.

No, I’m not particularly chuffed about the supposed spike in home heating costs. Costs of living here across the board are borderline foolish, but if that’s the price of our slice of paradise I’ll gladly pay it.

No, what bothers me is the rise of crime in the public eye. We see these gut-churning school shootings down south and muse from our soapbox that that’s the product of an uneducated culture. Not with it, we’ll say. Get with the program and put it in writing.

Not so fast armchair quarterback! Last I checked, Newfoundland and Labrador, though quite different in population from more metropolitan areas, is not exactly making waves for our Pleastantville-esque sense of safety and security these days.

Outside of the traumatic assault, murder, cold case or other unsightly crime that comes across the desk, we’re seeing B&Es becoming commonplace.

Personally, I can’t think of anything much more sickening than some scum-bag perma-skeet stinking of desperation sifting through your home, demeaning years of personal property and cherished memories.

It’s not confined to St. John’s either. Just recently a 70-something-year-old man in my by-the-bay hometown was robbed by two lowlife junkies armed with machetes. Not pistols, machetes.

The man lived alone and his home was ransacked and he was frightened senseless by the lowest form of humanity. That is not the Newfoundland I remember and this is the Newfoundland that concerns me.

Maybe it’s a sign of our social media driven age, maybe I’m just more aware of place and purpose, but there are concerning trends on our island.

Here’s to hoping that our changes skew towards the picture-frame variety – weddings, births, graduations and anniversaries. I’ll take nervous guts from wedding vows and baby names over the crippling anxiety of forgetting to arm my AlarmForce5000 any day.

One thought on “Dillon Collins: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

  1. Rodney
    March 15, 2018

    Congratulations Dillon. You still have a very effective command of the English vernacular, something that you and Rex Murphy have in common. The ever changing evolution of the technological advancements in our society have both a welcoming and loathsome balance that we must all endure at some point in our lives. As a former high school teacher of yours, I too concur that the hand-held deity known as the “Smart Phone” is playing havoc with how we learn, for use or for abuse, that is the question! Keep it up and you’re not alone. Step lightly and persevere.

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