Opinion

Bring on the New Year

It’s a bit difficult to watch the national and international news when you live in Langley. Right now as I write this, the sun is peeking between the clouds and we sit at a balmy 12 degrees C. I have had a restful relaxing week with family and friends and ate way too much.

I know if I turn on the news I will see stories about the aftermath of ice storms or  flooding back east and people who spent Christmas in the dark or maybe even a shelter because they lost their homes.

I spoke to a man from Sudan recently who hasn’t heard from his family since 500 civilians were killed in their village last week.

Once again, we are entering the New Year in  calm, peace and serenity in Langley. Even the two Langley Councils are talking to each other. We are pretty darn fortunate people.

I recently watched a documentary about 1914 — 100 ago. The year started off reasonably well, many milestones were achieved. Henry Ford started his first Model T assembly line and raised employee wages to $5 a day, setting a new standard across North America.

The Panama Canal opened and changed maritime travel and commerce considerably.

The average person in North America was paying little attention to happenings along the Russia-Austria border or the warnings coming from Germany. The  political happenings there didn’t really affect them.

But by August the world was watching the beginnings of a terrible conflict that indeed would eventually be news in every city and village around the world.

So how do we start our New Year on a positive note? Do we turn off the TV, do we cancel our subscription to the newspapers, do we pretend the world doesn’t exist outside the borders of Langley?

Do we need to know about people losing their lives in Langley fires or why Langley RCMP are shooting at robbery suspects on 200 Street in the middle of the day?

Those are sad and scary events in our peaceful little setting here.

Yes, we do have to know what is going on around us otherwise we begin to take things for granted and start complaining about nonsense stuff.  We have to hope that other communities will see what we have  and we hope we can set a standard.

This past summer as I worked with the Special Olympics Summer Games, I heard people from around the province rave, time and again, about our community, the people, the amenities, our facilities and I heard stories about people having to drive 40 miles to practice in their home towns.

We hear Christmas Bureaus from other communities ask us how we get such amazing community support each year. We always reply that it is  a very caring, giving community.

We have a choice. We can fill a bag of last year’s troubles and worries and drag it along behind as we back into the New Year or we can dust of our hands, hold up our heads and stride into the new year saying, ‘Here we are, bring it on, we’re ready for anything!’

A healthy, happy community is made up of healthy, happy people. If you need any kind of help, you will find it here, all you have to do is ask.

If you live in Langley, you are one of the luckiest people on Earth.

At least that’s what McGregor says.

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