End of times

Growing up and working at farms in the area, there was no shortage of tractors and equipment to ride around. Every place seemed to have a different appetite for brand of choice.

Times running equipment were long before video games and cool stuff kids seem prone to engaging in these days. Slipping an old International or Case into road gear and climbing to 18 miles per hour was about as exciting as it got on the 7th Line. 

This past weekend some of our time was consumed following up on that pastime, much to the chagrin of family at home. Hours easily pass listening to the pop-pop of a two-cylinder John Deere or the snort of an old Farmall when the plough hits the earth. It’s a harmless, yet rarely understood hobby.

Last summer we picked up a Farmall 100 with scufflers and we watch videos for tips on setups and advice as we get ready for gardening next spring. For those familiar with You Tube, which is a great resource on how-to news, people around the world post items and share their knowledge. Some of it’s quite helpful, other bits are entertaining and some can be thought-provoking. 

The downside though, is anyone can seemingly share whatever they want. Somehow old tractors have something in common with conspiracies because interspaced with those videos were recommended items to watch. Curiosity, often considered a fine attribute for a writer, can be a nemesis at times.

Next thing we knew, after choosing a recommended video on the JFK assassination, a labyrinth of seedy conspiracies unfolded. One conspiracy begot another and in all honesty a half-hour distraction felt like a week in purgatory. 

Like a big ole catfish, we got reeled into some dark videos last Saturday night ranging from the truth about JFK, to both Presidents Bush and their roles in the new world order, to Nostradamus predictions and religious types beckoning the end of times – any year now.

Compounding that feeling of depravity just witnessed, was the flurry of comments that routinely follows from viewers, supporting or opposing a video and its message. Certainly, the correspondents weren’t raised with the ethos that if you can’t say something nice it’s better to say nothing at all. A tongue without constraint or limit can be very cruel. A gush of negativity left a depressing feeling and a sense of anxiousness that came on like a cold sweat.

As the lid shut on the laptop a thought came to mind that what we had just experienced might explain some of the mental angst that happens to far too many people. Too much time spent in negative territory cannot be healthy.

Just as nutritionists push a healthy diet over junk food – is our brain and mental well-being any different? 

If we want good mental health, a diet rich in positive thinking and feelings seems a far more effective way to achieve a life filled with optimism and joy.

The choices are ours. 

A special thank-you

Much effort and time has gone into creating a well-read, thought provoking forum for residents in Wellington County.

Amongst our peers, the Advertiser was recently awarded “best editorial page” for circulations in excess of 25,000 across Canada (see article on page 14). 

This newspaper and its proprietor remain steadfast in the belief that communities are built on learned discussion and healthy dialogue. This doesn’t mean everyone needs to think the same; what it means is that issues can be discussed respectfully and mutually agreeable solutions found.

That our editorial page is part of those discussions is satisfying in and of itself. Thank you readers and letter writers, and congratulations, Mr. Editor, on this achievement.