Publisher’s Letter: At This Spooky Time of Year

By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

It’s always amazed me that some people get a big kick out of watching horror movies and having the daylights scared out of them. From my earliest days I’ve observed that life can hold plenty of horrors without seeking them out.

Consider a 12-year old who drops a bottle of household cleaner, cleans it up, but returns later to find their nearby beloved parakeet feet up dead on the bottom of its cage. Consider a hospital solely dedicated to treating and finding cures for children with cancer — because even some of the youngest among us get cancer. Consider the rising rates of suicide in this country, with Colorado ranking number 10 in the nation and Larimer County ranking number 6 in the State. Consider hearing that your healthy-looking neighbor in his early 60’s was found dead in his apartment of natural causes.

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Within the continuum of life there exists randomness, tragedy, violence, accidents. Impaired drivers, unexpected diagnoses of terminal illnesses, sudden and unexpected death of family members, friends, neighbors, pets, disturbed family members who abuse each other, intolerance of people who are different, and hatred maxed out in wars and genocide can all play out in life.

But then there’s the other side of life’s equation that includes giants of humanity. Some find cures for diseases that once disfigured and killed masses of people. And right here in Northern Colorado we find people working as private citizens as well as in organizations, both for-profit and non-profit, working hard every day to make a difference and alleviate suffering. And we applaud them all!

Life has its positive and negative, its yin and its yang.

As we head into shorter days, longer nights, and the dormancy of foliage, recognize your own power and ability to make a positive difference for those around you, as well as for you, yourself.

It’s the perfect time of year to take steps to learn a new skill. Or seek out one of the many trails created in Northern Colorado for walkers, hikers, and nature lovers. Read the works of a high-minded thinker. Provide an unexpected kindness to a stranger. Volunteer for a time-limited task or schedule permitting, on a regular basis.

Every day, make it a point to find the minor and major things you can do to expand the positive side of life. In so doing, you may find yourself feeling better than you have in years. And studies indicate that when you become more fully engaged in life, you may well be adding to your own number of healthy and productive years. It all comes down to realizing the part we all play in finding ways to make life less spooky. I don’t know about you but I’m all for that!

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Blaine Howerton