I believe strongly in my own individual responsibility. This is paramount to me. I am responsible for my life, I make deliberate decisions to ensure I live the way I want to live and I don't leave much to chance. I know that if I want to eat fresh backyard vegetables and eggs, Hanno or I must make a plan, save seeds or have the money to buy them, do a lot of hard physical work, tend plants, water, fertilise and watch. It's pretty much the same with the eggs, although having responsibility for living creatures adds another dimension of stewardship that I take very seriously.
Having spent so much time working in my community and seeing its strengths and weakness, I now know that I have a responsibility to do what I can to work towards making our region a healthy, safe and caring place that nurtures its people and its natural environment. It sounds like a big task, and maybe it is but I will work on my small part of it so I can add what I believe is valuable, essential and appropriate. I know my ideas for the community are different to what is there now - I want to teach life skills, because I know they're in short supply, I want to show that it's possible to live well without buying convenience and fashion, I want to show that downsizing, decluttering and destressing is not only possible, it's life changing. Others will work on different projects they think are needed, we will all add our own piece to the puzzle. Each generation that lives in my community shapes it and adds to its history.
No one can be an island unto themselves. Living in a community will mean that you use the roads, shops, the library, medical facilities, schools, parks and whatever else there is. All those facilities are there because some one, or a group of people, made a past commitment to your community. I know that unless I make my own contribution, I will be poorer for it. I want to be a part of the process that makes my community sustainable - and I mean that in every sense of the word. If we turn our backs on our community we are letting others - like politicians, bureaucrats, town planners and local councils - make all the decisions about how our communities are shaped, and what is important to us.
I don't believe they will make the decisions that will help our region thrive. Oh sure, they'll put in the roads, dams and schools, but they won't add a soul to our community. That, my friends, is our responsibility.