Whenever I talk to others about changes in regional structure, there are two responses that come up overwhelmingly: 1) Change needs to happen, because inter-regional competition is hurting us as a whole, and 2) There are a number of changes that will not work because they are too politically sensitive or culturally engrained.
I'm quick to point out that if everyone who wanted change and was yet pessimistic about it were to form a voting block, we would be able to elect whomever we pleased and enact whatever change we deemed agreeable. The pessimism surrounding change in the region is discouraging, especially when one considers the number of people who recognize a problem.
We can not let the way things have always been dictate our actions. The people in the region are the ones with power, even if we don't always recognize it. We will not agree on every issue, but our commonalities can bind us to overcome our disagreements. Because even if we are strongly attached to our own vision for the future, even if our visions do not match the specific visions of others, we all envision a better future for the region. That is a starting point for us all to begin to work together.