Thursday, February 10, 2011

Home in Wasaga Beach

I have been back home in Wasaga Beach almost a week now and once again, it's back to the life that I live here in a small beach community and for now, a freezing cold community.

It's been a busy week with lots of networking; the Wasaga Beach Women's Business Association dinner meeting on Tuesday and this morning, our Chamber's Breakfast at the Beach. We rely on these events to give us opportunities to meet new people and to promote our business. Without these kinds of events it would be very difficult to do business and to meet and connect with people. Most of the friends I have here I met at networking events.

As a founding member of the 'Breakfast at the Beach' networking committee, I feel a certain amount of pride and satisfaction that these mornings are as well attended as they are. The speakers are interesting and informative and it keeps a lively discussion and energy going in the community; whether we all agree with each other or not.

In fact, I'm certain that many of us do not share a common view on many issues within the Town. Debate was heated during the recent Mayoral election and it appears to continue to this day. While it would be 'nice' if we all agreed and held the same point of view; it isn't healthy or good for a community to do that. Debate and opposing opinions is what keeps our Town honest and our citizens engaged.

Our speaker this morning was from the very new 'Youth Centre' in town and she spoke about her vision for the youth. She felt that it was vital that they play a role in the community and that when they do leave for their education – and leave they must, since we don't have a high school – that they do come back willing and eager to contribute their youthful energy and knowledge back into the Town.

This is the challenge that every small town faces and is a particular hurdle for our little 'beach town.' While we offer lots of fun in the sun in the summer; there is very little to keep people here throughout the colder months of the year.

There are important decisions to be made if we are going to attract and keep our young people interested in the smaller towns and communities in our country. We need to offer them something more than a pleasant and healthy lifestyle to enjoy; we need to offer them opportunities to contribute their ideas and a place to do that.

Change isn't easy for those of us who are nearing that stage of our life where we want more stability and less change. Never-the-less, change is what we are all in for. The world is experiencing unprecedented change and our youth are getting prepared to take our place in this swiftly spinning planet. The question is, have we prepared them well enough to succeed in that job? And, are we ready to let go and take our place as the wise elders?

Elders we may be; wise, well that's another story.

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