I have long followed the concept of setting three words to live by in a new year, rather than resolutions, but am taking a different approach this year and am using three, three-word pledges – one for each major aspect of my life. This is the first of three posts outlining the goals and reasoning behind these phrases.
To my community, I pledge to be a better Kingstonian, daily.
I have always loved this city and proudly call it my home. Between the number of projects that I’m involved in – directly or indirectly – I keep myself incredibly busy in our city, interacting with dozens of people and groups each month. I, like everyone else, am not perfect, though – and I can do a better job this year.
The key to being better
The concept of being a “better” Kingstonian, to me, means two things. First, I want to set out to be an example of a great citizen. Yes, I recycle, I compost (well, green bin), I put out very little trash. I walk, bike and bus all over the city and know how to get to places. But I don’t always follow the rules, I don’t participate in all of the events that I should and I don’t always get the chance to get out to something I should be taking part in. Kingston, as I tell people regularly, has countless things to see and do – and I need to get out and see and do more of them.
Beyond that, though, I think the idea of a being a better Kingstonian means making sure that others know about these things. Promoting them, showing them off, explaining why they are so awesome and guiding people to things they might enjoy. I can’t be everywhere, all of the time – but I certainly can talk about neat things happening throughout the city. Canadians, as a rule, are generally both humble and helpful, so even if I can’t get out to everything – and I can’t – I can at least make sure someone else knows it’s happening.
The trouble with ‘dailies’
A few years ago, a guy by the name of Jay started a video blog here in town, with the promise of a new video every day. He, as others, learned quickly that daily is difficult. Daily requires time, and schedule changes, and commitment and, yes, a lot of work. It’s doable, yes, but it’s difficult.
Doing something daily doesn’t come with any sort of a guarantee of a tweet or a video or a blog post. It does, however, mean that I am adapting my regular, everyday life to fit the idea. Buses, green bin, walking, hockey, parks, community groups – and even the basic things as to not cross against the lights – fit the idea. No, I won’t blog, tweet or upload all of it – but history and innovation, and the pride of trying to make this city a better place, one person at a time, becomes part of everything I do, not just part of the 15 minutes I need to upload something.
To my community, I pledge to be a better Kingstonian, daily: A role model of a contributing, concerned citizen, a source to get information and answers or a push in the right direction and a presence in our incredible community every chance I get.
This is the first of a three-part series, Hello to 2013. Find out more here.