Dream big for a brighter fu­ture

North Waikato News - - OUT & ABOUT - JAN SEDGWICK

‘‘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 julie.kaio@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz with your views

Jan Sedgwick

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