Newsletter – December 2008

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December 2008 Newsletter for Seniors on Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is indeed an island, but it is still very much attached to the rest of the world. We are bombarded constantly with the financial woes that are devastating countries and peoples lives around the world. After a while do we run the risk of this kind of information overload becoming a catalyst to self fulfillment? Will society start acting as they think they ought to behave, given what the media reports suggest is happening?

It is written: – (give or take a word or two) “Give me grace to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference”. Perhaps we as a community, Vancouver Island, should take a step back and take a good look at not just the financial turmoil that surrounds us and the effects that it has, or might have, on us and start taking stock of what we have going for us. How do we build on what we have, solidify that, and ensure that we do all we can locally for the benefit of all Islanders? Was it in the 60’s or the 70’s that the catch phrase “Think globally, act locally” came into being? That philosophy has never been more meaningful or necessary than it is today.

Perhaps we should use the weather of the past of the last week or so as a wake-up call. Suddenly services that we take for granted, even demand, are not there; the ability to travel; to shop at will on a whim and on a daily basis was not possible. Perhaps this is the time to stop mouthing words like ‘sustainable’, ‘self sufficiency’, and ‘for the common good’ and individually start taking actions to make them a way of life here on the Island.

Start buying and demanding locally grown and manufactured products. It may, or may not, cost a little more but we will all end up paying a far greater price if we don’t. Buying locally grown food products builds a stronger community and gives you better nutrition without having to transport it from half way around the world. By doing so you have also helped to support and maintain the desperately needed family farm with its young families. Young families are the fabric that holds communities together. They create and ensure the existence of our schools, local shops, family doctors, and a young and mobile work force to cater to the needs of an ever aging society.

For now, it is Christmas and the many other religious celebrations that delight and help re-enforce our sense of family and community. Please remember that the greatest gift you can give to so many people is free, but you have to deliver it in person. Visit those that are alone for what ever reason, take time to hold their hand, listening to what they have to say, and please do not rush in and out if you can avoid it.

Take care and be safe, keep an eye on neighbors, make sure that they are safe and are not snowed in.

Have a great Christmas and a safe and healthy 2009.

Roy Summerhayes.