Newsletter – December 2009

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December 2009 Newsletter for Seniors on Vancouver Island

Another year nears its end. When we look back over the past year in many ways it seems that the only thing that has changed is the date. The world is still racked with wars, disease, oppression and poverty. We are bombarded constantly with the financial woes and natural disasters that are devastating countries and people’s lives around the world. After a while do we run the risk of this kind of information overload becoming a catalyst to self fulfillment or blind acceptance? Will society act as they think they ought to behave?

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 that it is today.

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, let’s enjoy 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, have a great Christmas and a safe and healthy 2010.

Roy Summerhayes.