I have seen many new developments and changes in the Comox Valley in my short eight years here.
The new Costco, hospital, the Thrifty Foods plaza, and countless other new commercial and residential developments.
With all this ever-increasing growth has come an ever-increasing local population, ever-increasing traffic and congestion, ever increased pressure on the water supply and infrastructure, and the ever-diminishing ‘green spaces’ of our beautiful valley.
The pace of life here is also much faster and more frenzied than it was when I first moved here eight years ago, and I wonder what the next eight years will bring.
Without a doubt, one of the main drivers of this growth and development is a conventional mindset that economic growth equals rising prosperity, and so, as a result, we support the implementation of policies that promote economic growth. We need to challenge this conventional wisdom.
The question we need to ask ourselves is this: Does economic growth result in our increased contentment and happiness?
Regardless of the reasons for the pursuit of this growth and development, as far as I’m concerned, we all, ultimately, actually suffer because of it. We need to shift to a mindset which values and rigorously pursues quality of life, and real, visceral contentment, over the pursuit of profit, materialism, and economic growth.
Shouldn’t we rather refocus on pursuing policies and a mindset which improve the levels of contentment for the Comox Valley residents? Shouldn’t we rather refocus protecting our environment, our resources, and our green spaces which we all enjoy and cherish, as opposed to exploiting and decimating it? Wouldn’t this be a better foundation for a better Comox Valley and a better lifestyle for everyone who lives here?
I also believe that this is not just a local problem, but it is one which the wider world also faces and needs to address if we are to realize a healthier and more contented future global community.