The Rising Tide

sky view of victoria bc

Written by Bruce Williams

I love the connotation of the word prosperity. It’s a word that implies inclusive success and security, a sense of well-being and comfort. When all benefit, opportunity grows and general welfare is more balanced and reliable. When we live in a prosperous era, or region, it impacts people at all levels of income, employment and stages of life. In Canada, the greatest country in the world, we have a good grasp of what prosperity should be for all of us.

So, how are we doing?

Some would say we could do a lot better, some say we’re doing just fine.

A national survey a few years ago asked Canadians for our version of something being “as American as Apple Pie”. The winning suggestion was “as Canadian as current circumstances will permit.” Humble, self-deprecating, funny and realistic. Just like Canadians. In other words, accurate.

I’m currently involved with an organization I helped create, called the South Island Prosperity Project. SIPP is the Economic Development Agency for the communities of South Vancouver Island. “Prosperity Project” has a more concise ring to it than “Economic Development Agency.” It’s inclusive of all people, optimistic in tone, and clearly defines its purpose.

The aphorism “a high tide raises all ships” is one I use often to explain SIPP. It best defines prosperity in its intent and outcome. In other words, success for one or many means success and prosperity in some way for all.

As a non-profit and community supporter, I also believe prosperity creates more resources and capacity for community investment by individuals, business and industry. Investments support the solutions and outcomes created by community non-profits. It’s an investment that is particularly important during periods of economic downturn, traditionally a time when the need for support goes up. There is no greater ROI than investing in human beings and their potential to be all they can be.

Prosperity grows jobs, incomes, careers, civic pride, safety, self esteem and human health, and incubates further prosperity. It provides economic diversity and opportunity and allows us to support the vulnerable, thereby raising the tide for all.

Right now, SIPP is leading the Smart South Island initiative. They describe it as “a local challenge inviting the public to submit pilot project ideas that will make the South Island a smarter, more live-able, and more sustainable place.” It’s a great way for you to help make our community more prosperous.  

Enjoy the ride with the rising tide.