Making Aylmer Super
Reading the Bulletin, I see that the Civitans are asking for nominations for their annual “Citizen of the Year” award, announced at the big Steak-Out dinner each spring. At the same time – right now! – the Bulletin is tallying up all of our town’s community stars for the annual “Best of Aylmer” awards. The rewards from these recognitions become significant parts of the lives of each year’s “Best”.
In a few months, RAWQ will ask the public for nominations for their annual community awards – as a matter of fact, there will be several such contests or competitions.
These are community-building events. They’re not advertising gimmicks or activities only for the shut-in; like the “Best of Aylmer”, such awards have long-term impacts on the lives of those participating. On an individual level and on a community basis, all of these competitions contribute enormously -- even to the rest of us, our town’s un-sung heroes.
The stronger and more cohesive our community and neighbourhoods become, the stronger will grow our own individual lives. What matters to each of us depends on what is going on within the community around us. No one of us is the proverbial island; we are all interconnected in multiple ways and strengths.
Thus, participating in these competitions and nominations is helpful to us, the unsung, and not only to the spotlight-winners.
There’s a constant struggle in our daily lives to be part of the modern world, to be plugged-in more efficiently, and, in general, to live more technological lives than not. Yes, a couple in a restaurant more plugged in to their screens than to each other is a sad, but common, sight; but we, most of us, take more considerate advantage of the efficiencies and the reach of modern technology, especially in communications, and our lives are the richer for this.
Yet, there are always pros and cons. Technology, giving us more “muscle” in communications, research and calculations, also makes our lives more abstract, less personal. Our lives become less our own the more we become part of Big Data. We used to fear our lives were becoming statistics -- so here’s one more way of becoming our real selves: speak up! Get your preferences out there, and not merely to the preoccupied folks focused on their own screens.
The Civitans want to know who should be this year’s Citizen of the Year. You’ve got ideas . . . your city councillor, a neighbourhood businessperson, teacher, Scout leader, a helpful civil servant or a successful immigrant? Be creative.
Later on, the city will ask for similar proposals for a range of recognitions, RAWQ wants your choices and, certainly, don’t put off filling out the nomination ballot for the Best of Aylmer awards, online or in this very edition of the Bulletin.
These decisions and choices can be fun and they are challenging; we each can make a difference, and in doing so strengthen our own lives and that of our Aylmer super-community.