July 22nd, 2011 - 5:08pm
One of the great things about summer in Ontario is that we get a holiday at the start of three consecutive months. Sandwiched in between the flashier Canada Day and the more widely celebrated Labour Day is our Civic Holiday which is set for the first Monday in August.
These holidays are much appreciated and give most of us a chance to spend a bit more quality time outdoors. While we enjoy the fresh air, we should take a moment to consider what we are celebrating. The friends and family who come to visit should remind us of the importance of community. Our neighbourhoods and towns were built on hard work, cooperation and the willingness to lend a helping hand. In other words, the Civic Holiday is a day to celebrate what we have accomplished together.
As we do just that, we should also remember to continue supporting the communities in which we live. Everyone has something valuable to share with his or her community. Strengthening the ties we have with our neighbours not only enriches our lives, but helps build and preserve healthy communities.
To keep our communities strong and vibrant, we need to support them. Purchasing local goods and supporting small businesses keeps our neighbours employed and our local cultures alive. Local markets provide an array of fresh food, crafts and many other interesting items. Public spaces like parks and beaches are the perfect place for a family outing or neighbourhood event. If we make the commitment to use these local resources, our communities will continue to grow and flourish.
Celebrating our communities ultimately means celebrating what each one of us brings to the table. We work hard every day to support our families and the wellbeing of our children. Our individual efforts are important because they are part of a greater network of support. This network includes our neighbours, schools and workers in all kinds of jobs, who keep our cities and towns alive and well. The contributions we make individually create a strong foundation on which we build our close-knit communities. In the spirit of the holiday, make an effort to become more active in your community. Plan a neighbourhood event or become more involved in one that exists. Even the smallest contribution can make a big difference.
So, during the Civic Holiday weekend, remember to take pride in your community and reflect on your contribution. Above all else, make sure to relax and enjoy spending time with loved ones because you have most certainly earned it.