Message from the Publisher


Can you believe we are into April already? Seems like yesterday we were singing Auld Lang Syne! Let’s hope the weather starts to cooperate and get warmer. I’ve had enough with spring wind chills!

So now that we are done with the first quarter of the year, how are you doing on the happiness scale? Can you say you are truly happy? Most people go through their lives always looking for happiness, but never really find it. “I’ll be happy when…” I get that new job, or purchase the car I’ve always wanted, or lose 15 pounds. But then once they achieve those things, happiness still eludes them, why?

Happiness can mean different things to different people. It could be working at a good job, living in a beautiful home, having financial security or maintaining good health. It can be simple things like just sitting and petting your dog or cat or watching children play outside.

Happiness doesn’t have to mean the acquisition of material things, but achieving a peaceful state of mind. Happiness should therefore be something we have every day, not something we are trying to acquire in the future. It’s all around us; we simply have to look closely.

A recent article I read stated, “based on research from Cornell University, psychologists found that paying for great experiences, like concerts or travel, has a bigger and longer-lasting impact on your happiness than buying material items.” It continued by saying, “The key is gratitude. People were more likely to feel thankful after taking a dream trip than after buying things like jewelry or clothing, the research showed.”

I can personally attest to that, because whenever I look at pictures from past vacation trips, it puts me in my “happy place” and gives me the opportunity to relive those enjoyable times and be thankful I was able to go on those trips. I even recorded the ocean’s waves while in Florida on my phone so I can be on the beach any time I want. Ahhh, sunshine and sand in my toes!

And, I can also say that money doesn’t buy happiness because lately for me, happiness is just getting all the green lights on the way to a client’s walk!

But the key word is “grateful”. In the article it emphasized that “gratitude is a powerful quality that can brighten your mood, lower your stress, and even make you kinder to others.”  And if this world needs anything right now, it’s more kindness.

So right now, do something that makes you happy, or revisit a time when you were and if that means breaking out the photo albums or family movies, then do it. And as you are smiling and enjoying that happiness, be grateful.

Every month People & Places Newspaper dedicates several pages to publishing local libraries’ events and monthly calendar items. When is the last time you visited a library? If you ever want to unwind in a quiet environment and find your happy place, a library is the place to be. Not only does it offer thousands of books, videos and educational classes, but a place to lose yourself in your own imagination. Can’t afford a vacation? Pick up a book about an exotic location and imagine yourself in the midst of that local. Happiness is just a book away!

The reason I bring this up is because I read the pictured post about how book reading is apparently becoming a lost art. The statistics are sad. Earl Nightingale said many years ago that one hour per day of study in your chosen field was all it takes to put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years you’ll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do. While this may sound like a daunting task, one hour of study a day, just think of the time we waste watching television or sitting on social media! What would you rather be committed to?

Don’t waste anymore time – pick up a book and start reading again today!


Barbara J. Piltaver, Publisher
People & Places Newspaper