It's funny how things can be put into perspective.
In talking with Wallace boat-builder Thomas Wood in our front page story this week, He raised the issue that some of us are not connecting with our communities while when we are young and in turn make that connection elsewhere, taking with us the skills and knowledge we learned here.
Needless to say, Cumberland County is steeped in history, but the point is well made: how do we help our youth connect with their communities? How do we tell them: "This is your home and this is where your future can be."
Many communities here in Cumberland are very proud of their past, like Springhill and its mining history and Joggins and its fossil cliffs, but there is a divide between what once was and what we can look forward to in the future. These histories are of days gone by, and instilling a sense of ownership in a time long forgotten with the prospect of a future is a challenge we need to face if we want to slow the flow of talented minds leaving our communities.
When we teach our children about our community we shouldn't just tell them about how great they used to be. We can tell them about potential and opportunity. Cumberland County is the gateway to the rest of the Canada and can boast two shorelines. It houses a wealth of yet untapped natural resources and alternative energies. This is where our future engineers want to be and where future architects and industry professionals will make their mark. The face of Cumberland County is changing and we have to make a decision to let our children make those changes with us, or we risk having those changes made for us by others.
In short, we not only need to tell our youth what Cumberland County and its communities once were, we need to tell them what they will be and this can only happen if we have a commitment to promote more of our future rather than memorializing a past they can no longer participate in.