Before you click off so that you don’t get sucked into another treatise on staying active and running for your health, know that this article has nothing to do with physical health, running shoes or working out. It has everything to do with mental health, staying mentally active and maybe even running…for office.
In December we ran an article about a friend , Jeff Brower, who had filed his paperwork to qualify to run for County Council in Volusia County. His campaign is in full swing, and he is moving along the path that will hopefully get him elected in November. It’s a long grind that makes most people wonder why anyone would go through such a thing only to be criticized and second-guessed for years at a time. Political office, even at the local level, isn’t for sissies.
But we find that many of our “over fifty” crowd decide that this is the time to run for office and maybe help their communities “get it right.” Often there is one polarizing issue that drives candidates to enter the ring, and others just want to help steer the ship towards the right path. Regardless of the reason, political office is one way to help move the process forward.
Others may not have the temperament for a campaign and holding office, and that is okay. Such is (probably) the case with another “over fifty” friend and former police chief Mark Barker. His blog site, BarkersView.org, focuses on city and county government in our community, along with other topics that occasionally pass his radar. I have known Mark since the seventies – as police officers and as Army Reservists in our local Military Police unit.
What has impressed me about Mark is his ability to present common-sense arguments in support of his view of the local world. He is very articulate, but in a way that makes the point in a sometimes humorous manner. His facts are solid, and you know in your heart that is concern is genuine. Whether you actually buy off on his viewpoints is up to you.
So whether you run for office or write op-ed pieces on a blog site, these two fine “50+” guys have decided to step up and try to make things better for the rest of us. I have to respect that, and I am not only glad they are doing what they do, but proud to be acquainted with both of them.
What does this have to do with mental health, you ask? Like any human function, it works better when it gets used. Atrophy happens to the brain, too – use it or lose it. If you don’t get involved, you may lose the ability to get and stay involved. No one wants that.
So, what have you done this week to make the community better? Let us know = write an article and send it to us for consideration for publication. Who knows…you may become famous. Send your articles to KRDuffy@me.com.