President’s Blog

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Why do we celebrate days like St. Valentine’s Day? 

Certainly, this particular day has a religious tradition as its named after the 3rd-century Roman priest who performed many kind, indeed what could be called ‘loving’ acts to people in his community.

Living in a community in the 3rd-century is not the same as living in a community in the 21st-century though! But, we still celebrate a day where we acknowledge that love and ‘loving’ acts are important in spite of the tendency to commercialize it.

The word ‘community’ itself was lived very differently in the 3rd-century from how it is lived today. Communication, central to shaping a community is often piecemeal. Since the rise of social media, in spite of its many attractions, communication has become more like coded speech. The depth of thought in sharing points of view or the ability and openness to challenge and debate are less and less evident. And that lack of true communication affects the stability and nature of community. Coming together as a community doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t disagree. It means we all share a common goal.

The root of the word relates also to the idea of ‘the commons’. The original meaning comes from medieval Europe where communities managed land that was held ‘in common’ (for all) but also shared in its stewardship by developing a set of rules about how it was to be used and protected. Today, it also includes the cultural and natural resources in a community accessible to all. Importantly, natural elements like air, water, and a habitable Earth are also seen as part of it. These resources are held in common even though parts may be owned privately or publicly.

In the 21st century, where many still celebrate centuries old holidays, like St. Valentine’s Day,  that might just be a thread that brings people together in their communities that not only celebrates kind and loving acts to each other but also to ‘the commons.’ 

Best Regards,

Gigi

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Did You Know?

Packed into standard shipping containers and placed end-to-end, municipal solid waste generated in one year would wrap around the globe 25 times. This is unsustainable! What is your community doing to target waste reduction? - un.org

Adopting sustainable practices, whether large or small, can have significant impacts in the long run. If every office worker in the United Kingdom used one less staple a day by using a reusable paper clip, 120 tonnes of steel would be saved in one year.

So far in 2022, Depave Paradise has depaved 15 asphalt pavements! Since 2012 this group has completed 80 projects across 32 Canadian cities covering 76,384 square metres of unused paved surfaces into beautiful community green spaces with native grasses, flowers and trees. What an amazing sustainable action to capture carbon, a Greenhouse gas, and create a welcoming ecological ‘paradise’ for our monarchs and bees and of course, for us. Well done. This is a project of Green Communities Canada.

In 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity put the precautionary principle to work.

In 1987, the Brundtland Report consolidated decades of work on sustainable development.

The First World Climate Conference happened in 1979 and opened up the science of climate change.

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." - Anne Frank