I hate apathy. It is alive and well in our society everywhere, and at a time when the country is kicking into gear for another round of local body elections, I am urging you to give apathy a kick in the guts if you are a sufferer.
Disinterest, lack of enthusiasm and concern, and an “ I don’t give a shit “ attitude are all sure signs you have the affliction and in six weeks time when the election results are in, chances are you will be one of the folks moaning their arse off about the community appointment if you haven’t been bothered to participate in the process.
We are all time poor, and it would be fair to say that there is a perception that often people who step up for the commitment of local body politics, have more time on their hands and experience in life and business matters to give back to the community.
There may be an element of truth in that, but often once you have become established in your career, raised a family and stepped back to enjoy the fruits of your labour, you can risk becoming disengaged from the people you were elected to represent. Those who are at different stages on their life path. The Joe Bloggs of the general public- the ratepayer, the new business owner or the everyday folks that are raising families. Often these are the younger members of society (dare I say it the under 50's!) where the apathy has already taken root for many because they feel they cant make a difference so don’t try.
It was really evident last week when I was looking for a seconder that lived in the Ashburton Ward to support my nomination for council . On my part it was a strategic decision to try and find someone aged between 18 and 50 to support my nomination, because that’s where I believe we need greater engagement by the community to understand its needs of the future. Of the five young people I had in mind to ask, only one of those had actually bothered to get themselves on the role – a basic requirement to participate in the democratic process!
Information is power, and I urge you to give a shit. Not only about what’s going on in your community at a governance level but your life. Teach your kids to give a shit, tune your friends and family up for not giving a shit and get engaged with all aspects of your life so that when you make a decision that has some sort of consequence it is an informed one.
Apathy has no passion, and people power combined with knowledge and passion can move mountains whatever the cause is if people set their mind to it.
I don’t know what really matters to the people of this community and unless they engage with me I will not be as informed as I could be so I am encouraging you to reach out so I can hear from the people I hope to represent once the ballot box is counted.
Have a great day out there….