The View from The Niagara Guide

General observations and musings on how we can make Niagara a better place.

Reflecting My Why

Mark Kawabe - Monday, January 08, 2018

Niagara is full of fascinating stories. People. Places. History. Commerce. Community. The more people I meet and the more I learn, I realize there's so much I don't know.

I started The Niagara Guide with a desire to "connect the dots", so to speak. I wanted to have a place where people could learn about all aspects of Niagara. My job is internet marketing, but my passion is learning and sharing. This year, as The Niagara Guide turns 18, I want it to better reflect the underlying "why" that sparked its creation.

This year I intend to share more stories about Niagara. I want to explore and share the beauty of our communities. I want to learn about people's perspectives on the issues that affect us all. I want to shine more light on issues that deserve more attention.

What will that look like? Longer articles. Perhaps videos and recordings of interviews. More photos. Deeper coverage and hopefully some discussion on topics of interest. Overall, more interesting content. At least, it will be more interesting to me. I hope it will be interesting to you as well.

It's going to be an interesting year. I'm looking forward to the journey, and I hope to have the pleasure of your company. The first step beings . . . now.

Working Together is How We Evolve

Mark Kawabe - Friday, September 15, 2017

Working Together to Make Improvements

I haven't written a blog post since last November. Lots has transpired since then, both locally and on the world stage. I've heard and read a lot of perspectives that are divisive, bitter, hostile and full of vitriol. It's disappointing and concerning. On almost every topic, you'll find polarization. Reason and understanding take a backseat when the talk gets emotional.

What's not reflected in those many polarized views is that at the end of the day, we all have to live together. We can't spend our days slagging our neighbours and then expect to have a happy, safe and productive society. Our communities face challenges of many sorts, but the only way we're going to overcome them is by working together.

It sounds so easy, but we all know it's not. Differing belief systems of every kind get in the way. The structures and institutions we have in place can also throw up roadblocks. Whatever the barriers, we are all going to need to work on our communication skills. Moving away from rhetoric and towards really listening, understanding, respecting and caring for people who have views that aren't aligned with yours is the biggest challenge. Once we find common ground, we're going to need to be creative in figuring out ways to move forward in a way that respects people's values.

I'm not suggesting I have answers to the problems we need to overcome, but I believe that together, we're going to get there. It's just going to take time and effort to figure it out. I'm hoping for the best, from all of us.




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