Don’t be afraid to dream big

Published 9:00 am Thursday, July 27, 2017

By Will Collins

In the great state of Kentucky, we have moments when we dream big.

Will the University of Kentucky basketball Wildcats hang another championship banner at Rupp Arena? will our BBN football team have relevance in the SEC? Will the first leg of the Triple Crown prove to show a dream horse at Churchill Downs?

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We know we are loyal sports fans, yours truly included. But do we fall short of dreaming big in many other areas such as innovation, economic development, education, health care and more?

I certainly believe so and the rest of our nation puts us in that category — failing to dream big.

Now, before I’m chastised for putting down our state’s wonderful residents, I’ll mention that is far from my intended dialogue. Even the great Kentucky historian Dr. Thomas Clark once noted we are very reluctant to accept change. When we find ourselves wanting to stay with the “status quo,” there are too many instances where we can be left behind.

I’ve discussed over the past several weeks our need, in Clark County, to visualize our own future and prepare accordingly. I’m hoping some eyes are opening and some chatter is coming about because it is much needed.

People who know me know I love history and traditional values. On the flip-side, however, I don’t hold on to tradition when it is preventing us from moving forward.

Sometimes, we benefit from embracing change and letting progress prevail. It is a part of growth and should be our new culture. We need to visualize what is to come in our community and set standards to welcome it.

Take the Sphar & Co. seed building as an example of a no-change project. From my understanding, several million dollars are being used to renovate and preserve the building, turning it into office spaces for some groups such as the chamber of commerce, the tourism commission and The Greater Clark Foundation. If such a project is under way to build on our future, then who am I to raise concerns about this venture? But if the main goal is to save the historical value of the property, we are failing to dream big.

The result of not dreaming big is preventing us from accepting change, which, in turn, limits our ability to embrace growth. We stay in a cycle where funding and tax dollars continue to go to the same programs that are, in a sense, already meeting failure. When we choose to move forward, we can create the means to make us successful by appropriating tax dollars in better places.

We need our leaders to look for innovative ideas that are geared toward a modern economy, but they can’t do it alone. They need the residents of Clark County to get behind them and urge them to move forward with forward thinking. Such thinking will prepare us much more than living in the past — and that goes for all of us.

As a conservative, it is important for me to look at the current state of affairs and criticize when it becomes necessary. I’m not implying we are in dire times and have no future, I’m just stating a fact that Winchester is growing. Growth is not adjusted for by simply building more houses and neighborhoods, it takes a much more.

What I hope to accomplish is not to change your way of thinking but make you think in general. Look around you at all the changes our community is experiencing and ask yourself, could we do more to embody what is already occurring?

In other words, change is already among us, we just need to accept and change with it.

As George Bernard Shaw said, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” Powerful words indeed.

Political enthusiast Will Collins is a lifelong resident of Kentucky and has called Winchester home for the past 20 years. He can be reached at