Dear readers and friends,
It’s natural for us to reflect on ourselves and our place in the world at this time of year. My wish for you is to enjoy the gift of a fresh perspective so that you are active in stepping up and forward whether you are a leader or a community member. Be conscious and engaged.
People around me say they feel time itself is moving faster. They feel change seems more rapid and the challenges that face us are more urgent? Might be wise to then work together to make the best of time, otherwise, the consequence will be for us to realize the old adage: fail to plan, then plan to fail.
It’s a time to celebrate, yet we worry. Ideally, we’d turn to our leaders to guide us through each challenge positively, with common sense, a commitment to the spirit of service and perhaps with a little vision. We’d hope that they will lead by worthy example, just as we know to expect the same of ourselves: service, contribution and awareness of how people and the process work in our society.
We hope for our elected and our natural community leaders to engage us at best and to keep us informed at the very least, in the finding of solutions to our challenges.
Yet, there’s a dangerous break in the process, an exclusion.
And let’s face it, if we continue to ignore the damage and to excuse the people doing it, we will both bring about and allow corruption in the system.
Already new conditions pile up right next to the old daunting challenges – still not been addressed from years gone by. Why not really learn from the very same trials we see and the steps that brought about the tribulations that face other sovereign states? Why not learn from the mistakes we can so clearly see, rather than repeat them?
Why not reverse our growing difficulties with disconnected youth, epidemic drug use, unsettled new immigrants, complexity of our aging populations and economic conditions such as flagging work opportunity and a wildly unaffordable housing market? All this puts so many groups at risk right now and long into the future.
Why not learn now and plan our way forward better?
True leadership does not simply serve itself – it contributes. It builds for now and plans for later, for all citizens it oversees. Healthy leadership inspires us look ahead to change and improvement. Yet when our leadership does not model such an effort and denies the dignity of proper attention at every level, should we demand better?
When did we become a greedy and unappreciative society?
Where is the promise of Canada as citizens experienced it in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s? Where is the vibrant, strategic, social and political society, actively integrating our interests while building community.
What can we do to stop the decline?
For one, we need to wake before it gets worse and consider our potential. Time to be active and aware and so drop the habit of waiting for a situation to implode and then patch them in a panic. Time to plan, not sell our society short and allow mistakes that may have dangerous impact on our next generation’s life.
Get involved. The issue of unaffordable housing alone denies students the choice to stay after studies, for young families to grow, for new immigrants to really settle and for workers in all areas to count on fair and decent employment. We need to plan for our elderly, and ever more urgently, find ways to develop our youth so they see a path to meaningful study and work so that they feel valued and hopeful – not lost.
I invite you to create a sustainable and collective quality of life lest we deteriorate into unrest and distrust and then dangerous blaming of one by another instead of strengthening our society.
Would we prefer calm silence now even though it masks a future of undereducated and poorly informed people who will feel distanced and disconnected as citizens?
Find opportunities to welcome newcomers, youth and elders and to recruit them in the creative integration of all they can contribute to our community now and into a flourishing future, for all.
Happy Holidays and good wishes for the health and prosperity to everyone in our community!