Foresight the real gift to have

22:36, Jan 22 2014
Pat Veltkamp Smith
Columnist Pat Veltkamp Smith was Southland Times women's editor until 1997 and is a former president of the Southland Justices of the Peace Association.

Seems we've all got hindsight, bags and buckets of it.

But without the magic of foresight, how to look ahead?

Truly it is hard to envisage 2114, one hundred years hence.

Look how easily we recreate life a century or more back in shows and parades, easy because so much of the past is in place in a way we cannot imagine looking ahead.

Just this very month we have seen century-plus sports days at Tuatapere and Browns and the centennial show of the Winton A&P Association.

That parade last Friday was wonderful, the main drag of Winton closed in preparation and then some risk averse authority sending us all round to another street because of the big wind, then the great Clydesdales and their like saying, "Hey this is where the parade goes", straight down the main drag and so it did - and the risk averse had to rush round to catch it.


And all the names of generations coming through the Colin McKenzies, John McDonalds, Bill Thompsons, Adam Hamiltons and the like and out at Tuatapere chips flying with Carrans and Unahis.

And what's to change?

What's different about this year's supreme hogget, a quarter mile sprint or last weekend's underhand chop?

But look ahead 100 years and what will we have do you think?

Romney rams and churned butter, a Clydesdale team and a furrow straight like corduroy, a tent of jams and cross-stitched pinnies? Doubt it.

Jeans are replacing moleskin trousers and something will follow jeans. Lace-up boots are being ousted by tug-ons, horses by mo- bikes.

Will what has been started now, like a book club or a video exchange, be popular in a hundred years?

Maybe. Maybe a bridge club or a chess group?

Will we still sigh over apathy in local body elections, drink-driving and missing gluten in our daily bread?

After five more generations will we be as "Southland" as now, after five back?

Without the benefit of hindsight we would not learn much.

A wish for foresight too?


The Southland Times