By Laura Keil, Publisher / Editor

I want to take a moment to honour the whiny voice, the bellyaching, the bleating and grumbling, the moaning and griping. About things that exist. About things that don’t exist. About things that are late. About things that are early. We all do it. And usually, we don’t honour it at all – instead it saps our energy, brings us all down, tows us under in defeat. Like victims, we link arms and float out to sea, keening like the gulls high above us.

Poor, poor us. We’ve had a vision. A vision of a better world.

The only difference between a complaint and a positive vision is whether or not we feel empowered to do something about it.

There’s not a huge difference between saying “I can’t believe Valemount doesn’t have a train shelter and the horn blows all night,” and saying “Wouldn’t it be great if Valemount had a train shelter and we worked together to cease the train whistle at our controlled crossings?” One is a call to action. The other is staying the victim.

I’m calling this out because a few months ago I realized how much I’d been living in a victim mentality. I was fixated on my failures and hardships instead of my successes. Victim mentality can happen to anyone. You basically see the world as your enemy. Everything is against you and making your life miserable. Being empowered is literally about taking your power back – seeing yourself as responsible for every facet of your life, and taking positive action that improves not just your life but the lives of others. For parents and caregivers, the two go hand-in-hand.

One of the incredibly powerful things about living in a small community is that everyone makes a difference, whether by their action or inaction. Take your complaints to the next level. And the next time someone makes a complaint, lean in. Blow it up into a vision. It could very well be the community’s next breakthrough.