Dream big for a brighter future
‘‘I have a dream,’’ said Martin Luther King. And JFK said ‘‘ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country’’.
Lofty goals and ambitions, ringing as true now as they did 50 years ago. Let’s bring it a little more down to home, here in the north Waikato.
Do we have a dream? Or are we just going through the humdrum, hoping things will turn out for the best.
Do we, as a community, ask what we can do for our community, instead of focussing on ‘me me’?
In my six years as a councillor on the Waikato District Council, I have had the privilege of meeting many people who put their communities first. They’re not pushy, overly-clever or driven by need for recognition.
They’re just people like you and me, who think about how every little bit helps. How if the load of dreaming for a better community is shared, then the load is lightened.
I’m a fan of dreaming big. If you don’t dream big, you get small. And small is sometimes, sadly, where we, as New Zealanders, love to wallow.
Dreaming big is looking at the big picture. Small is complaining but not bothering to be involved in any formation.
From a growing northern community perspective, this could be as simple as debating what you want to ‘‘look like’ as a community – what your soul is. This gives a community a sense of focus and belonging.
Perhaps you want to be known as the place where walking and cycling is easy and safe, where communities have places to gather that are local and inspirational. Sort of like living in a Cheers episode (where everyone knows your name).
Maybe your community is growing too large for this. Again, what’s your goal; should you be looking at hamlets within the town that have unique identities (think, for example of the difference between Greenwich Village and Times Square in New York).
And to segue to JFK’s quote, we’re into election season. There will be rhetoric fit for a Trump, and there will be cries for out with the old, in with the new.
However, within this mayhem consider what you can do for your community. Is it standing for council or community board or committee? Is it supporting a local organisation that is helping your community.
Most community boards and committees are happy to get feedback from the community on ideas that will benefit the whole community (my experience says they’d be thrilled, rather than just happy).
Or is it being involved in the many organisations that provide the glue that holds our societies together. It is, literally, your choice.
Jan Sedgwick is proud to call Te Kauwhata home, and impressed with the depth of spirit in local communities.
Greed will kill the economy if it’s allowed to run wild. A house is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Paul Cowley, posting to stuff.co.nz story on Facebook, Everything-but-the-kitchensink-house sells for $1.2m Letters should not exceed 250 words and must have full name, residential address and phone number. The editor reserves the right to abridge or withhold any correspondence without explanation. Letters may be edited, referred to others for right of reply before publication. Write to Letters to the Editor, North Waikato News, PO Box 14, Pukekohe or email email@example.com with your views