Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A letter to my future great grandchild

Waikato Vital Signs Community Engagement.

We invite you to imagine a child born in 2076 - perhaps your great-great-grandchild, perhaps a descendant of someone close to you – but probably a child you will never meet.

If you were to write a letter to this child about your hopes and dreams for your community - what would you tell them?

Dear great grandchild,

I hope as you are reading this, you are sitting somewhere on the banks of the Waikato River, coffee (or what ever you young ones drink these days!) in hand, and enjoying the amazing view - and the fantastic cityscape, before you.  The river has always been considered the jewel in the crown of Hamilton City and I hope that the generations who have come after me have continued to care for it, and see it for it's beauty as well as the intrinsic importance of the very thing that resulted in Hamilton being created in the first place. I hope the city still showcases this, and that theres a vibrant cultural life on it's banks.

The Hamilton Gardens, already world famous now, are no doubt another icon in the city, loved by all and the centre of community for many.

As the world gets smaller and smaller due to the digital age we live in already, I imagine that the need to get into the outdoors is greater - and I'd like to think, more desirable than ever. I'm guessing you are probably doing work that hasn't even been invented yet, but that is more to do with computers than people, and for that, if no other reason, I am sure that wide open spaces are in hot demand!

I don't think for a minute though, that in the next 50 year there will be a demise in the social aspect of life - in fact my guess is that it will be more important than ever, for the same reasons as fresh air and exercise will be.  I hope that the people you share your life with are as committed to the well being of each other, and of wider society, as those that share mine. Our family - founders in Hamilton a hundred years and more ago,  has a long and rich history of giving back to the community - I wonder now which part of this will be your calling?  The disadvantaged? The arts? Sport? (that's an unlikely one given your family heritage but who knows!).  Always remember that just a little time given can make a difference to a lot of people.

The world as I know it now has not changed so much I think - perhaps there is more automation...self driving cars, computers and machines performing tasks currently done by people, the faster/stronger/better/bigger way of doing things is certainly part of our culture now.  But people need people regardless - there will always be room for human contact, helping each other, engaging in debate, enjoying music and culture, getting outside and appreciating nature - and I hope that in the future, just as now, these things will always be important to us.

Hamilton will be a multicultural (and I hope welcoming and tolerant) community in 50 years time. I wonder what your heritage will be by then? Will you be bi-lingual? Well travelled? In 60 years you will be an adult and likely have children of your own. What will your dreams and hopes be for them for 2116?