Our community needs healing

By Shaun Aquiline
There is a horrific split in our community right now. It will take a long time to find a way to mend those fences. Like any fight in a relationship- time will be the teller of all. We all have a bottom line, a final dollar and an end to make. We all have to do what we have too. For some, it will be leaving, a family of five is (I can only imagine) hard on the wallet. We do what we have to in order to survive and still have a decent quality of life. That might mean a trip to another community. It is easy to throw lawn darts, it is easy to scream our own stance and keep the divide.
Moving to this community was the best decision I ever made. It is where I met the love of my life, it is where we bought our first home and it is where I plan to raise my family. This community welcomed me in, embraced me as a newcomer and allowed me to find my place here. I created a brand that involved a dog on the radio, and where I met many people I have grown to admire, respect and some, even love.
The hardest aspect of moving here was leaving my home. Although Cloverdale is only 7 hours away (Roughly depending on how fast you drive and Chilliwack Traffic) being away from my Father-and being extremely close to my family- leaves me with a heavy heart. This community has allowed me in, and I found a place I call home. I can only hope I will be half the Father mine was to me. Part of that, is raising a child with love, respect, integrity and passion for life. Part of this, is balancing my dollars. I too will have to consider doing a large shop quarterly out of town, and pick things up along the way. I will also make sure I check in town first, see what is available and request if it isn’t. Since my arrival, I have been blown away by how amazing the local shop owners have treated me. In my experience, the more I shop in town, the prices have been phenomenal. My guess is they appreciate the business and they pay it forward. I understand everyone has a different budget, different needs, desires and requests. Not all can be accommodated. We do what we must to thrive, survive, get on and get along.
This community recognized 15 wonderful community volunteers for the Spirit of Revelstoke. Some of these recipients connect to us on an individual level based on what is important to us, and what we care about. This was overshadowed by the divide that still is happening online. The passion in this community is strong; we need to find a way to re connect. At the end of the day, we are all here to stay and we need to remember that.
My yearly income is not a lot. It is less than most, more than some. Many have dire circumstances making monthly ends hard to meet. We all have to do what works best for our individual circumstances. I have to budget my income accordingly to ensure I have food in my freezer, the mortgage is paid promptly, a little bit into the RRSP’s, plan for a rainy day (Now that we own) and also enough to enjoy a night out with my soon to be wife. In order to do this, it might mean periodic trips out. I will continue to enjoy the relationship with the local shop owners, and I will continue to grab what is necessary in other areas based on what it is and how dire it is to have. I will (like all for us) plan my budget accordingly and do what is best to make sure all of my ends are met. I will do that by asking shops in town, finding out if it is available and if they will help me maintain my budget by simply asking about certain prices. I don’t presume to understand and know everyone’s situation. We all have different ones, some dire, some fine, some great and some phenomenal. It takes all kinds of kinds.
What I will do, is continue to respect the people that supported me, many of which were in the downtown core, I will continue to respect the folks that volunteer their time to make this community what it is and I will continue to strive to be like the role models in this community that are older than me, have earned their stripes and set the example for the Millennial generation to learn from.
I will wander the streets tonight for Moonlight Madness. I will say hello to the friends I made, the acquaintances I see on the street and purchase products from the shops if I want them. If I don’t then I don’t. Continuing the divide will make things far worse, it will be why we have erosion. Not a mall, it will be us; it will be our behaviour to one another based on where we stood on this issue. I am thankful for this community, I am thankful for the life I have here, the connections I have made and the friendships I do not intend on losing because of a construction that may or may not have caused a financial plus or minus.
But what do I know. I was not born in Revelstoke, so I am not a true local.
Shaun Aquiline is the local host on CKCR 106.1 FM EZ Rock