What is a vision and why is it important to our plan and to Manchester's children, youth and families?

Of all the vision definitions the one that best captures its importance was by Caesar Molebatsi who said a vision is: "Something good and significant yet to happen that is great enough to warrant personal and societal commitment and sacrifice."

Therefore, the Town of Manchester realized that create a successful Children, Youth and Family Master Plan they must begin by creating a vision that:

  • Was great enough to warrant personal and societal commitment & sacrifice;
  • Was capable of stimulating the passions within all of us;
  • Would be desirable to the masses; and,
  • Identified something that has yet to happen.

In our western culture creating these kinds of visions has become more difficult because we have become so interested in producing a product or seeing results, that we want to move to action before understanding where it is we want to go.

Using what futurist Joel Barker has written, "Vision without action is a dream, action without vision is simply passing the time, but action with vision is making a positive difference", we moved to identify the core vision that would drive us to meaningful action. The core team for the Children, Youth and Family Master Planning process has, therefore, created the following vision:

"The Town of Manchester, where all children, youth and families thrive."

We believe that this vision will help the citizens of Manchester to shift their focus from the day-to-day complaints they have, to what they really want.  It may appear to some as merely a dream, a good dream, but one that can’t be realized. But as James Allen, a 19th century English writer said, "The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities." So, why not start dreaming this vision today? Let's move from allowing ourselves to be victims or recipients of what others believe are our destinies to being believers in the possibility of all of us thriving.

"What do we want?" By asking this simple question, we begin to shift our focus to a vision of what could be. And when all of us are asking this question, we begin to create a common dream that can lead us to actions that will have positive implications for us all. Our community must also shift its focus from merely providing services, supports and opportunities to creating a culture that empowers each citizen to contribute to making Manchester a place where all children, youth and families thrive.

It's time for those in authority and for all citizens to embrace the vision and to ask, "What can I do to make the vision a reality"?