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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Village values for a global society


Joyce Sasse


These days putting people down rather than lifting them up seems to be the norm.

My time is divided between two extremes. As a news-junkie, I’ve never heard so much lack of civility. Such extremes of hostility and fear-mongering, along with “false news” reports and shouts of “liar”, are excessive.

Ordinary people either cringe, or rise in protest!

The other extreme has to do with the intensive work I’ve been doing on my “Annora Brown Life & Legacy Project”. This lady’s work in the fields of conservation, art and education is incredible. And she did it all out of the small community of Fort Macleod, between 1930 and 1965. Recently her story and work is gaining serious attention. She was a pioneer who fought to record and conserve the natural history of south-western Alberta and the culture of the Blackfoot People. She was a strong advocate for the rights of ordinary women and visited numerous small communities through the University Extension Department, to teach and to inspire.

At the time people from the region appreciated her work and advocated on her behalf. But when her work was no longer kept front and centre, those from away shrugged and murmured “Can anything good come from this small place?”

Look again at the legacy she has left. Look at our rural regions today to see what your artists, your writers, your students, your seniors have to offer. Note how they are trying to reflect the kind of “village values” that are so needed in our “Global Society”.

John, the Gospel writer, (1:46) tells the story of Nathanael, who protested against the importance of Jesus’ message by murmuring “Can anything good come out of (this small village of) Nazareth?” To which Philip astutely replied “Come and see!”

What “village values” do members of your community have to offer our needy world?

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