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

MP Sorenson: New Year, New Beginning?

Economic outlook not so bright in coming months

Stettler Library has lots programs for public

Memberships are free for county and town residents

MLA: You don’t vote for the tail

Bureaucracy overtakes elected representatives

Our Town Stettler: Convalescent Hospital opened in 1954 first of its kind

Gave Stettler forward-thinking reputation for helping an ageing population

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

Woman offers luxury Alberta home for just $25 and a flair for the written word

Alla Wagner ran into health problems, which forced her to list the 5,000-square-foot estate at market value

46% of Canadians $200 or less away from financial insolvency: poll

45% cent of those surveyed say they will need to go further into debt to pay their living and family expenses

World economy forecast to slow in 2019 amid trade tensions

For Canada, the IMF’s estimate for growth in 2019 was 1.9 per cent, down from expected global growth of 3.5 per cent

‘Gotti’ leads Razzie nominations, Trump up for worst actor

The nominations were announced on Monday, Jan. 21 with some movies earning up to six nominations

PHOTO: Eyes turn to heavens to witness super blood wolf moon

These two photos show the lunar eclipse about 30 minutes apart from each other.

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

Most Read