In last year’s message I suggested that Christmas may be a good time to relax and switch off the mobile phone for a day or two. Well now it seems that the idea may be catching on.
I recently talked with some switched on students from a local school who surprised me by saying they could easily do without devices such as iPads, televisions, and yes, even mobile phones.
Well there’s a Christmas message for you. Switch off your devices, peel your eyes from the screen and experience the friends, family, neighbourhood, community and shire around you.
As Mayor I’m always happy to take calls from any community member at any time. Since last Christmas I’ve enjoyed speaking to countless people from every corner of the shire about many issues, good and bad. But nothing beats the treasured moments when the phone goes quiet and friends and family are given centre stage.
Christmas, for many people, gives us the imperative to switch our gaze to the people and places that matter the most. This is not to say that our work as farmers, accountants, window cleaners and elected representatives is unimportant; it just pays homage to the people at home, or the friends we meet down the street who are always there to discuss ideas and give some welcome advice.
So it’s really not about switching off at all. Christmas is about switching on; it’s about spending a couple of days to reconnect with the people and places we hold most dear.
I’ll be taking some of this with me into the busy year ahead because connecting with special people and places gives us direction, confidence and a will to succeed.
Stay safe, unwind, enjoy the best of company, and spare some kind words and thoughts for people doing it tough this year. Be a friend and help them out if you can. Have a very merry Christmas, and enjoy the thought that you’ll be spending it in one of the best places on earth.
Mayor Bill Taylor
Bega Valley Shire Council