Newsletter – January 2009

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January 2009 Newsletter for Seniors on Vancouver Island

This morning for the first time in a month I didn’t have to scrape the windshield on the car!!! What has been happening here? This is mid Vancouver Island people!!! the place where residents gloat in winter as they speak to people back east, (anywhere the other side of the Georgia Straits), about our balmy weather, flowers growing in abundance, playing golf etc. etc. Have we ever been given a radical reality experience? Is this a product of global warming? Statement, made by a lady as we were negotiating goat trails in two feet of snow that had appeared in lieu of sidewalks in downtown Qualicum Beach: – “I am looking forward to the time when global warming has polar bears eating poodles in Qualicum Beach!! if it gets rid of this!!!” As was noted in December’s newsletter, we really are a part of the real world.

The days of unplowed streets and endless shoveling of drive ways, or more correctly the entrance to drive ways, had one really good side effect. Total strangers started smiling and talking to each other and laughing at the circumstances and wishing each other well. It was refreshing and encouraging to see the re-emergence of such basic social niceties. At that moment in time people were genuinely, looking, seeing and caring about other people in the community. Unfortunately after about a week of this, when the streets and the sidewalks were finally cleared, we reverted to being strangers again. How sad. When and why did we become so insular, and in so much of a rush, that suddenly when people started smiling and talking to people they didn’t know it becomes a special and noteworthy happening?

We should all take this as a wake-up call. We should all make an effort to be more aware and inclusive of those around us. ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ and ‘a smile’ cost nothing but they are sadly under-used and yet they can open so many negative doors and barriers that have crept into our lives. Much of this was brought about by fear. The fear that stems, in part, by the daily barrage of ‘bad news stories’ that has become the bread and butter core of many media outlets.

I suggest that we actively stop this, and other events such as the financial disasters around us, from becoming self fulfilling by opening our eyes and minds to all the good things that we have going for us including family, friends and our way of life as communities here on Vancouver Island.

Roy Summerhayes.