Having survived the Mayan Apocalypse with little incident, we now have at least a hundred years before the next prophesied apocalypse in 2129, which is when Said Nursi, a Kurdish Sunni Muslim theologian from earlier this century, predicted the world would end.
(To be fair, there is a handful of other end of the world predictions out there, including May 19 of next year, but that was Ron Weinland who made that prediction, and he promised the end of the world for May 27 of this year, so he’s had his chance. Other predictions include a revamp of Hal Lindsey’s 1988 end of the world prediction by a fellow named Kenton Benshore to sometime in the next 20 years or so, and sometime between 2020 and 2037 by Jeane Dixon, who is famous for predicting that Richard Nixon would be assassinated after getting elected in 1960. It was Kennedy who won the election and was assassinated, so her record is a mixed bag at best.)
Having survived, we need to move on. And with the New Year comes the chance to think about the things that we failed to do this year, or would like to do for next. Yes, it’s time for New Year’s resolutions.
(Before we go on, here’s a peak behind the curtain. Because of the way the holidays are falling this year, the paper is being printed early and distributed late. So forgive me if this discussion of resolutions strikes you as so three days ago, but from where I’m sitting, it is still a few days hence.)
The word resolve has two basic meanings. As a noun, it means “a firm determination to do something” (that’s from wherever Google pulled it from). As a verb, it means to settle or find a solution to a problem, dispute or contentious matter.
It is this latter definition that we will look at first, because right now, one of the companies that is coming to town is in a fairly heated battle with a couple of unions who are looking to protect the interests of Canadian workers.
You know what I’m talking about. We’ve been covering the issues for weeks, as has most every major news outlet in the country. And this is something that needs to be resolved, or else it will be a black cloud hanging over the heads of everyone in this town, possibly for months. And there’s an awful lot that won’t happen without this being resolved.
No, there’s nothing wrong with a good healthy debate, but things are starting to move into name calling and pointing fingers, and the case isn’t expected to end for at least two or three more months yet, at the earliest.
If I have a firm dedication to accomplish one thing this year as a community, it is simply this: to become a better community. This is not to say that Tumbler Ridge is a bad community. Far from it. This is the place where I have chosen to hang my hat, and much of that has to do with the people who are here.
That said, it is not a community without issues. A couple weeks ago, a couple people set out, on foot, in the middle of a blizzard because they simply no longer wanted to be here. Was that because of the people? Because of the services available, or lack there-of? Nobody we’ve talked to seems to know for sure. All we can tell you is that if people are willing to walk out of here in the middle of winter, I’m pretty sure the community isn’t meeting their needs.
And there are many people who come to town—from Grande Prairie, from Prince George, from Williams Lake and even farther afield—for seven days, then leave for seven days, to a place that, for them, is home, because Tumbler Ridge just doesn’t cut it in their books.
I know we can’t be all things to everybody. There’s no way there’s going to be a WalMart coming to Tumbler anytime in the near future, so if you live to shop, this ain’t the place for you. Similarly, if you are a bar-hopper, it’s tough to get more than a hop and a skip at the local watering holes. Upset that Tumbler Ridge doesn’t have a strip club? Sorry, that’s not really what I was thinking about when I said we can do better.
What I’m trying to say is that we need to become better in those areas where it counts, many of which we already excel in. In caring for our neighbours, in reaching out a helping hand, in taking the time to say “hello, how are you today.”
These are not hard things. And many of you are already doing these things. But I worry that the earlier strife will cause a wedge to form. That we’ll start to stand back from anyone from China, or anyone who is in a union, or from anyone who comes here for their seven on, or any of a thousand surface reasons that we can chose to use as a reason to not be welcoming, caring, helpful.
I know that a community is not a single organism, but a collection of individuals, so as a community, we can’t make a resolution. But I can. So my resolution for this year is to do what I can to make Tumbler Ridge a better place. To tell jokes and write stories and to take pictures the celebrate what makes this such a wonderful place to live. I know that at times I will fail, but I’m going to try.
How about you?