IT IS TIMES LIKE THESE that I consider my past trips to third world countries to assist in community development initiatives. In the countries I have been to, the basics of clean running water, food supply and shelter are scarce. The realities of everyday life are almost unimaginable. It pushes all of this into sharp focus for me.
Last night, I settled on my couch with my partner. My daughter and I did some homework. We ate a good meal and spent time together. Even in isolation, we have so much that others in the world lack. It is why I am so grateful to live in Canada. It is also why I am so humbled by the decisions our leaders have to make.
I have watched and listened to our global, federal and local leaders work to inform, calm and educate us as our world tipped on its axis.
It’s a job I don’t wish on anyone; If you act too quickly, you are fearmongering. If you act too slowly, you are not responsive. Even when you mange to time it perfectly, someone somewhere always seems to seize on the opportunity to criticize, condemn or complain about your leadership.
The toughest part of being a leader is knowing that you are constantly under scrutiny for every thing you do and say. But, that’s part of the role, and all of us in community know it.
In spite of the challenges, I have watched with pride, and perhaps a little bit of awe, as our leaders at all levels grapple with the incredibly complex reality that we are indeed a global village; and while that has many benefits, it comes with serious challenges.
Every decision made must balance the rights of individuals with that of societal health. Every action must act to protect us all, while creating the least amount of negative impact to businesses, its employees and all of the health and social system that we enjoy. Each decision must not jeopardize the balance between providing the basics (food, shelter and housing) and disrupting the entire balance of our economy.
Yet, with all of these challenges, we also see champions of our community arise; entertainers hold free concerts online, agencies continue to operate in spite of the real threats they face; our front line health workers work tirelessly to maintain or health care system, all the while knowing that their own family is possibly impacted.
These are the reasons I am so proud to be a Kamloopsian; we care – a lot! and it’s also why we are #YKASTRONG.
So, community leaders; please keep up the great work, and know that you have at least one fan out here, who believes like you do; tough decisions must be made. Thanks for stepping up, I appreciate what you do.
Jeremy Heighton is executive director of the North Shore Business Improvement Association.