What I have discovered in all my travels is that the issues that rural people are addressing are similar. Presently in the Atlantic region of Canada people, communities and governments are addressing:
- rural decline (in Canada only 15% live in rural environs in the Atlantic region it is 35-45%)
- influences by newcomers (lifestyle movers)
- youth unemployment and disillusionment
- redundancies among middle aged workers
- diminishing local autonomy
- political rhetoric but, little policy support
- impacts from technological advances (both good and bad)
- government restructuring/role analysis
- I would suggest that other marginalised communities (i.e. inner cities, disadvantaged groups, etc.) are experiencing impacts from these same issues.
Yet, we happen to be living in one of the most interesting periods in human history. Societal shifts, unlike any witnessed before because of their scope, are testing and stretching our ability to comprehend either the problems or their solutions. Indeed, similar to our ancestors in more ancient societies, people have gravitated to the supposed wisdom of a variety of ‘ gurus’ just as those in other eras fell prey to medicine men or witch doctors.