A SOUTHERN VERMONT OF TOMORROW PART III
The data on young populations leaving or not even entering the State are not pleasant. However, what most think as a major hindrance, I believe our size makes us unique. What would be near impossible in larger states is possible here in southern Vermont. Our very existence and core values come from the fact that we are a small, nimble, and agile state.
Perhaps the last element to explore is a return to simpler times. As the world gets more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, we can present our part of the state as a safe getaway and a place to unplug.
It’s my belief that because of this need to get back to a simpler, authentic life, that there will be a large movement to return to mindfulness. Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Yoga and meditation have their roots in mindfulness. This has been predicted to be one of the next big revolutions as mental health and oversaturation of technology are forcing us as a people to reconsider what is important and worth our attention.
As a world and as a generation there is only so much data input, 24-hour news cycle, free content that a person can absorb. Parlay that with the fact that every 20 years we see a counter-culture revolution of any sort. The future of Vermont, as I would see it, carefully balances the amazing tool of technology and efficiency, with that of mindfulness and a return to nature.
Correctly aligned and with a strategic vision, I believe southern Vermont can fight the trend of young population loss and encourage a new generation of Vermonters to join and to create. It will take hard work, grit, and flexibility – something that has been a Vermont trademark for hundreds of years.