finding pen and voice

opinion

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.

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7 thoughts on “finding pen and voice

  1. Well penned FD. I agree that the more years I tag on to my life the more empowered I feel. Though, I too love city life and rural life equally, there is a feeling of belonging which is much stronger in the rural setting. Therefore supporting your neighbor is more visible, more satisfying and much more rewarding than just running to the store to grab something and running back home.
    Supporting local growers, farmers and shops makes me feel like I’ve helped someone. The big grocery markets would never miss me, but the money I spend to purchase from MY community helps someone survive. Be it for that day, month or year.

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  2. My parents as they have become establishedi n a very rural community. (No wifi at all ha ha ha) have also become more vocal about certain issues. I think when it’s a smaller area, we see the affects and effects more easily. Kudos to you for speaking up!

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  3. I think something which is so slow to be realised is the huge benefit to the community which the internet and wifi can give. I talk daily to folk on free video phone systems like Sk.ype and FaceTime. Isolation will end once older folk use the internet more. It’s a generation thing. We didn’t have computers let alone the internet until I hit college so feel like I’m near the front of a big surge in silver surfers.

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  4. Maybe the school and hospital have their own wifi systems already? Just a guess: several schools in the district where I work are setting up open wifi on their campuses, which work amazingly well, though I was discouraged to find my access to WordPress was blocked by the school censors. Apparently WordPress is regarded as unfit for school-age children.

    That said, there are many rural parts in our county that have terrible internet access. A friend who lives on a farm 24 miles outside of the city still uses a dial-up service and AOL just to send and receive email.

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