Wednesday, August 12th, 2020

P Publisher’s Point by Jean Loxley-Barnard
Extraordinary Gifts


We are all inspired by very positive people. The more we surround ourselves with happy people, the more it rubs off. Hopefully. What’s the alternative?

No one likes to be around a grump who focuses on what is wrong. So let’s look around and identify those we like to be with and try to be more like them.

Chances are happy people have just as many challenges as unhappy people. They just handle situations better. Let’s assume we can as well.

Dr. Bill Austin has written a relationships column for us for decades, and I believe it is one of the most popular features we have, if not the most popular! How he manages to write such good basic advice I can only assume comes from his outlook on life. Positive. Upbeat. Joyous. Wise.

Being with someone like Bill makes us happy, gives us hope, changes outlooks. It is no coincidence that he is an ordained minister and was a beloved pastor at Virginia Beach Christian Church for most of his almost 40 years in the ministry.

Retirement to Bill just meant side stepping to getting a doctorate and making counseling his later career. Just another way of ministering. Converting people with sadness into people with joy.

Chances are happy people
have just as many challenges
as unhappy people. 
They just handle situations better. 
Let’s assume we can as well.

Everyone experiences problems, but there are many ways to encounter difficulties: a puzzle to solve; an opportunity to learn; an experience to share; a book to write; a story to tell; growth to achieve.

My extraordinarily uplifting granddaughter, Breonna, through example, has helped me to be a more compassionate person. She devotes herself to caring for animals at a shelter. I used to turn off commercials showing animals needing help because they were upsetting. Knowing what Bree does, I watch these commercials now, focusing on those eyes in need of love and care, and my heart literally aches for their pain. I understand as never before the gift this talented and brilliant young woman gives to these animals and I am so thankful just to know such goodness exists.

I am married to the most patient man I’ve ever known. I joke with him that I will be responsible for him getting straight into heaven one day. “You either had to become totally patient or do me in,” I tell him, “and you made the right decision.” While I tease him about it, I am truly aware that he has a gift few have and I am the beneficiary. It is all I need for Christmas.

Let’s look at what the people in our lives truly give us every day. Those who inspire us to be better, some who set examples of how to live, others who create joy every day – let’s take note and be thankful.

We can give ourselves the most precious gift there is – the desire to be the best we can be and to love being it, all from emulating those we admire.

Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.