Getting lonelier in a shrinking world – Editorial

We are at the beginning of a new year and plans are being reviewed/revised for the community events that have become the hallmarks of the life in various communities over years, and in some cases, decades.

Yet all these plans seem to be daunted by one common factor: declining participation and volunteerism.

If one just reviews the number of community events that have been either cancelled or are about to be called off due to declining volunteer participation or collapsing interest on the part of community members, it becomes easier to realize the seriousness of the situation.

For example, Oktoberfest dinners were cancelled in a number of communities because of lack of interest last year, with Castor calling off this year’s Winterfest despite the abundance of snow and conducive weather that would render the ideal conditions for a winter festival. In addition, other cutter parades are either being cancelled or are in jeopardy in neighbouring communities.

Is this an inevitable fallout of changing times or is it a temporary phenomenon that will go away soon?

The indications are that the former probability is much closer to the reality than the latter.

Over decades we have come to own bigger houses, although we have smaller families; we spend more, but we buy less in value; we have more electronic gadgets to help us save time, but somehow we are always in a hurry to catch something; we may be richer as individuals (communities/societies) but we value our relationships and possessions less and less.

Maybe a decade ago, those observations could have been truer for urbanized communities than for rural ones.

But now, there is no way of escaping the advance of the technology that works in paradoxical ways to complicate our lives:

While the global village gets smaller thanks to satellite television allowing us to know more about natural calamities or terrorist attacks on the other side of the world, we imprison ourselves more and more to our increasingly smaller cubicles containing our cell phones, Internet connections, facebook and twitter checks, isolating ourselves from family and friends.

And it works the same way regardless of whether one works and lives in an urban environment or in a rural community.

The process of emancipation of the individual that started more than a century ago with manufacturing of the first car has now brought us to the point where we are so free (and liberated) that we do not feel the need to remember that we are part of a community and can share more than just a greeting in the morning with our next door neighbour.

With ever more sophisticated cell phones, computers and TV sets, it does not look likely that we will return to being community-oriented individuals again any time soon.

Just Posted

Communities in Bloom judges check out Stettler’s finest features

National and International results will be announced in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in September

Alberta Prairie Railways marks 30 unforgettable in the biz

Tickets purchased this year go to a special ‘luxury’ train ride for 30 guests

Ethel Williams gifted a donation for the Community Recreation Track resurfacing

The running track in Stettler is a legacy from the 1991 Alberta Summer Games

Annual Gord Bamford Foundation Charity Golf Classic returns

To date, the Gord Bamford Foundation has raised over $3.6 million

Maskwacis RCMP investigate deaths of two children

The RCMP can confirm that these children were siblings

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Bashaw seed cleaning plant holds official opening

New facility operating well since January

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate indecent act at By The Lake Park

Complaint said man exposed himself in Wetaskiwin

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Chiefs honour Indigenous leader wrongfully hanged in B.C. 154 years ago today

Chief Joe Alphonse says they want his remains returned to his homeland in B.C.’s Cariboo region

Most Read