The New Year. A time to reflect, a time to look to the future.
A year ago I don’t think anyone wanted to consider that we might still be in the midst of another wave of the pandemic. Too hard to think about. Too daunting. But here we are.
We have come to terms with this situation. We aren’t happy about it; we wish it could be different, but we are okay. We are more resilient than we knew. We care about our neighbours and have more time to help than we realized.
As for the future? Can we keep this slower pace of life going? Can we spend more time visiting over the fence? Can we pick up our neighbour’s groceries and drop them on their doorstep? Can we Zoom with family far away and keep them close in spirit?
I think we will be a better community if we can. More walks through the neighbourhood mean more conversations on the sidewalk. More conversations mean better connections and a better understanding of each other. The city, as a whole, is growing and changing. Let’s keep in mind that diversity is our strength; that a range of opinions keeps us on our toes and that, in our conflict, we learn both intellectually and emotionally. Stay open to the possibilities.
What’s possible at the city level? Are we changing, embracing new and diverse ideas?
This past year staff explored both our cultural and social responsibilities and, looking forward, are reexamining the Strategic Plan. Maybe it’s the pandemic, maybe it’s not, but the focus of the city is also changing and growing. Hopefully you are following our council meetings online and communicating with the city about your priorities.
Diversity of opinions will ensure that all views are considered and the resulting decisions will meet the needs of many, if not all, our residents.
So have a great new year. Stay engaged. Stay safe. Stay connected. We are growing together.
Sylvia Lindgren is a councillor for the City of Salmon Arm.