OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s about people. It’s about us.
… it’s about what we value – past, present and future.

It’s about using our imagination, creativity and ingenuity
… how we work together and how we resolve conflicting

How creative we can be, as groups as well as individuals,
toward building legacies.

How we value values, ideas and inventions… beyond the worlds
of science and technology
… in the worlds of business and governance systems;
… worlds that have huge impacts on our lives and communities
… worlds that we built from our values, our creativity, our ingenuity
and our courage.

And, until we bring the occasional ‘visioning’ dialogues
of official planning together with the daily ‘technical’
assessments that feed land use development decisions (e.g.)

… until the technicians, and developers, and investors
learn how to truly reflect the spectrum of societal values

As given through our “smart growth” policies
As also given through our public consultation opportunities,
in addition to our political systems

And, until we stop piecemealing decisions, including
“sustainability” decisions
… and replace reactive, confrontational consultation
and decision processes with respectful, engaging and deliberative processes
… on the ground… in real time

We will continue to wonder around, bumble along, get old,
feel alone…. Well, we’ll all get old anyway.

I am occasionally heartened.
Some days are better than others, and today is one of them.
Because …
today I went to my city council’s Planning and Land Use Committee meeting.
And I got a healthy dose of respect for what they, with their staff,
are trying to do.

They have limited resources.
They have more priorities than time to deal with them.
They struggle with finding creative ways to engage everyone
… in making Victoria a liveable city
for everyone… in a timely manner… in a manner that counts…
in a manner that will make a difference… for everyone.

After all the questions and discussions; after the technical clarifications
… and a few platitudes, it all came back to

Being people sitting around the table together, listening
to each other, building common ground

… and I only saw one smart inanimate object come out
of a pocket during the whole time.