Since moving to the country I have noticed a slight change in my mind set in that I am becoming more community minded. Not just in our endeavours to shop locally when we can, but also in adding our voice to other initiatives.
This morning, I was at a nearby shopping centre where the local council had set up to canvas opinions on what the community considered important for the future. In the city, I probably would have walked by, not probably, I would certainly have walked on by. Today, I set my groceries down, took up marker pen and added my comments to the paper boards they had set up.
A young woman who was staffing the area came over and asked me more questions about what I had written. I was advocating wifi and fast reliable internet access, and I explained how it would be of benefit for the local hospital to have access so that patients could have time online with specialists instead of having to travel to the city for some appointments. The government is committed to a national broadband system, but they are picking and choosing areas, and their plans go right to the end of our street and miss the local high school and the small regional hospital that is in the Village. Stupidity at its governmental best.
I have no expectation that anything will change, but it did make me realise that our sense of place and belonging does shape our thoughts and actions. I expect that growing older also makes me more community conscious, and I did hear myself declaring a double barrel comment, “The older generation will be able to stay in their homes longer if they have reliable and affordable internet access, and I am a teacher I know how important the internet is to education now!” I almost looked over my shoulder as this public voice was so not me – was someone actually speaking behind me and it wasn’t in fact me? Nope it was me.
I’ll be carrying a soap box next! An elegant, one of a kind, soap box, of course.