Friday, July 27, 2012

Issue #2: Honoring Our Elders

In the past, achieving a great age brought with it a lifetime of practical experience and the responsibility of being the keeper of the collective wisdom of the tribe. In many world cultures even today, the "Elder" is still a respected and often-consulted sage.

Sadly, in the west today, our hurried pursuit of social status and material wealth often relegates our Elders to the position of the Forgotten Generation. With Social Media now the dominant means of communication for people under 50, face-to-face interaction is on the wane. Even touching base by telephone is being replaced by the daily Facebook post or the on-the-go Tweet. As a result, our Seniors are under-represented, often unheard, and sometimes even neglected everywhere, and Princeton is no exception.

But what, exactly, does all this have to do with the coming election? Everything! Our Elders in Princeton literally hold the key to Princeton's future as a vibrant, dynamic and growing small independent community. Our Elders are, arguably, our greatest resource. Collectively, they can personally document the history of the area right back to the Great Depression. They have the experience, the commitment, and often the time to devote to pursuits that can only enrich our community. They are the glue that holds a community together, and we must honor their place here.

Encouraging our resident seniors to stay the course with us will enrich us in all the ways that really count when the going gets tough. Encouraging a new cohort of seniors to settle in Princeton would buttress our housing market, strengthen our local economy, and reverse our population drain.

In the years ahead, which may bring great economic and social challenges, the Wisdom of my parents is something I will personally tap as often as possible. Together they have more than 150 years of hands-on experience with how Princeton has become the place it is today. In everything from winter wood gathering to spring gardening and harvest canning, they are a vast storehouse of local folk wisdom and personal anecdotes. Throughout Princeton, the stories are the same. Both long-term residents and recent retirees here offer a vast repository of wit, wisdom and social values.

Thankfully, I have been able to settle back in Princeton in time to take full advantage of what my parents have to offer. After a year here, my son already has a large and growing storehouse of stories from Grandpa and hugs from Grandma. My daughter, expected in September, will bask in the combined love of an extended family modelled on the best that our blended Thai and Canadian heritage can offer. As I consider the tasks ahead, I can only conclude that whatever they demand of me, the payoff will be in knowing that I am doing my part to ensure that my family's future is in good hands.

If I am elected to Town Council, the physical, economic and social well-being of Princeton's Seniors will be foremost in my mind as we address the Healthcar issues here, review an Economic Development Plan, consider new potential Recreational opportunities in the area, and revisit our Disaster Preparedness planning.

With my Regards to the People of Princeton
Rob Rubis, Candidate for Town Council