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1 Copyright Š Bob Neville 2018

The pace of change (Bob Neville)

Overtaking successive generations In every community, there are Organisations dedicated to a wide range of historic, cultural, sporting and many other activities. However, it seems that many of these groups, regardless of the size of the community, struggle to attract and sustain positive, supportive membership. It seems that younger generations do not share the same interest and values in community as those of their much older peers. Why? Let’s consider a typical example. A small community has a valuable asset in the form of an historic building which is an excellent Tourist attraction. The group of volunteers that manage this asset is comprised of aging community members – many of whom have lived in that community for most or all of their lives. Most of these people have a strong interest in preserving the past by virtue of their

heritage-focus and senior status. Most of these people will be well over sixty years old. They are people who grew up in a very different world to that of the present generations. Understandably, many of these people have not moved with generational change and their thinking is naturally locked into a different era. They are generally unable to relate to younger peoples’ interests and values today. However, this is not a criticism, but it is merely an observation in an era of change which is unique in all human history. In stark contrast, most young teens and young adults of today have not known, nor do they understand or value the world from which their older peers have come. The rate of change even just over the past ten to twenty years has been greater than in all human history and therefore there has been a much faster

evolution of change between recent generations. It is this pace of change in particular which has widened the intergenerational gap between the oldest and youngest generations. There are vast differences between interests and values even just over the past generation. In the past, younger generations grew up with and where more involved in - the interests and activities of their older peers, as there was more time and scope for interaction and for understanding and passing on the values, skills, experiences and stories of their parents and grandparents. Sound historic links with the past were established. However, today, we live in a world where two generations at least, cannot comprehend a society that does not have computers, video games, the everchanging mobile and internet technology.

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Young people today in developed countries have grown up in a far more materialistic world, where the expectation is that they are entitled to have anything they want, when they want. Their grandparents and great grandparents never had that and generally struggled for everything they achieved and gained in a world where credit cards and access to instant credit for virtually anything was literally unheard of for the average person. Again, this is not a criticism of young people. Both generational extremes are victims of an era and rate of unprecedented change. Most of the younger generation have no real depth of comprehension that the world in which they live is unique in all history. Further, most do not comprehend that it is founded on an economic illusion of total unsustainability.

Consider this clear analogy representing the pace of change. What happens when a motor vehicle is being driven on a highway at night at very high speed with the lights on low beam? At speed and low beam, as an object comes into view the driver does not have sufficient time to

avoid running over the object. By analogy, the pace of change overtaking successive generations can be compared to this situation. Changes in each generation are taking place so fast that there is not time for each generation to absorb the relevance of the generation it is overtaking and simply runs over it and leaves it behind. What is driving this era of change and materialism? Where is it leading? What impact will it have on traditional values and future sustainability of small communities? These are crucial questions.

There is a startling double paradox here. As the world continually gains a more materialistic focus, individuals, families, communities and whole nations strive to have more of the gadgets and pleasures of modern living in a world that is now so small due to mass communications. They do

so without realizing or at least, ignoring the fact that the kind of world which rapidly developing nations strive for is not sustainable, even just from a perspective of the earth’s capacity to provide the resources needed. Yet, our Politicians and Corporate Board Rooms mostly ignore this reality. The other side of the double paradox is that in spite of the striving for a better standard of living by many nations, the gap between rich and poor even within developed and developing nations, continues to widen, and while the earth’s capacity to provide our essential needs continues to be depleted at an uncontrollable rate, the inevitable bubble of the casino economy stretches further and further towards bursting point – and what then? Consider: We have become a much more centralised society where essential services, water, food and communications are concerned. Our communities, large and small, are extremely vulnerable and if the power and water is cut off, for whatever reason, food production and transport stops and a nation is less than a week away from starvation. We have lost and left behind traditional values, in

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fact, we have driven right over them at high speed and low beam, especially those associated with family and community sustainability, the art of growing, preserving and storing our own food at the individual and community level. We are becoming a nation largely dependent upon the corporate producers and the corporate controllers who supply our every need and who are killing us with their processed, fat/sugar foods and drinks. Peoples’ values are vastly different. There is less emphasis on family, on loyalty on sharing and relationships at every level and in extreme times, the “law of the jungle” will most likely prevail. We also live in a world of religious extremism, and while this is nothing new, extremists have ways of expressing their views as never before in this era of weapons of mass destruction. We live in a world of entrenched, endemic greed and corruption of governments, military and business. The obsession for personal and corporate wealth eats away like an uncontrollable virus in total disregard for the consequences to the environment or to human

lives or for future sustainability. I could list many more, but the point is made and while such an outlook is not popular, nobody can realistically deny its validity.

So why draw attention to all of this? Simply, it highlights the need for individuals, families and communities to return to traditional values and see what is happening in and to the world in which we live. There are many sides to our modern way of living which are not sustainable, nor are they really good for our physical and mental health or for our relationships. We all need to realise that we live in a unique era and quite bluntly, we need to take a long look in the mirror and decide where our values and priorities should rest, because probably much sooner than later, the world will have to go “back to the future” if it is to survive.

There may come a time soon when a handful of seed or a bucket of clean water will become far more

valuable than a bucket full of gold an silver.

A time when a drop of clean water will be cherished over a barrel of oil and a time when old values and survival skills, those once passed on by our older generations and now seen as obsolete, will once again be sought after. There needs to be a revival of a true sense of community and reevaluation of true values building and maintaining relationships, caring, volunteering, giving, sharing and teaching to name a few, in other words, a return to a true sense of community. However, is this ever going to happen in the kind of world we have created, which changes so fast that we cannot even comprehend that just about every new gadget you buy is obsolete even before it is “new” on the superstore shelf. Small Community Regeneration, under the Community Gold Program, offers communities a sound pathway towards positive change.

Become part of the “RE-GENERATION.” Join our voices – Follow Bob NISSU - Linkedin - Facebook Follow the Pathway VIDEO to Small Community Regeneration

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We live in a unique era but quite bluntly, we need to decide where our values and priorities should rest, because probably sooner than later...


We live in a unique era but quite bluntly, we need to decide where our values and priorities should rest, because probably sooner than later...