At the Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) we are currently developing a ‘MHV and Well-being’ plan which will include community partners, programming, site use and promotion. MHV already does a lot to support well-being naturally. The setting is beautiful and includes historic wood buildings, trees and a pond. Engagement of all five senses in learning how previous generations lived. Volunteer clubs, such as the quilting group, the sawmill crew provide a significant source of relationship time while providing ‘meaningful play’ that can bless visitors.
In her intriguing book Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom, anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson defines one of the later stages of life as “active wisdom – an entire cohort with something new to offer to the world as years of experience combine with continuing health.” It is wonderful how seniors, as seen in our MHV volunteer groups, provide their time in worthy community ventures. With active wisdom, they help us all to appreciate life, and well-being is enhanced at the same time. Like Bateson says elsewhere, “of any stopping place in life, it is good to ask whether it will be a good place from which to go on as well as a good place to remain.” At MHV, we hope some of you decide that we are a good place to be this summer.
Public education about well-being is also important. Possible MHV activities for this year include a guest speaker at our volunteer orientation, a Well-being event, and a handout for guests who want tangible ways on how to benefit from the well-being MHV provides as a museum. We all need help with our well-being. What would life be like if we did not have sun-shine, support from friends or activity? Especially in this challenging season, we all need support for our well-being.
Well-being knowledge needs to be integrated into the vocabulary and ethos of our families and workplaces. At MHV we will work towards that in 2021. We hope and pray that what we do this year will help our community to thrive.
Check out MHV’s Instagram and YouTube channel for our new ‘Safe at Home’ series! There will be videos showing you around MHV (including footage from our new drone camera), fascinating stories, a mental health moment with Counsellor Hailey Reimer-Chaplin and more – all in twenty minutes or less. A great way to start or end your day. There is even a separate stream for ‘MHV kids’ which includes a contest, crafts and stories. Spread the word!