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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • A Little Salt: Solace for the soul

  • HCP columnist Danny Henley offers a way to bolster one's sagging spirit.
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  • Unless you’re extremely fortunate, there are times when you find yourself in an emotional slump. It could be due to external factors, or internal issues, but there will likely come a time when we need solace for our soul.
    What do you do to raise your spirits? The “treatment” is as varied as the reasons that cause someone to have a bout with the blues.
    Some turn to music, possibly something loud and uptempo. Others seek out a good book, or The Good Book.
    There are those who turn to drugs of some form or another in an effort to alter their mood.
    While there are those who internalize in the hope of pulling themselves out of their funk by their own “bootstraps,” many others rely on the voice of a special confidant to help bring them up. It might be a friend, spouse, parent, sibling, child or even a grandchild who has the ability to brighten one’s outlook.
    A spiritual approach works for some, as they turn to prayer to shed a burden from their shoulders onto one whose shoulders are much, much broader.
    With the exception of drugs I’ve tried most of those options at one time or another, with varying degrees of success.
    Without going into detail, I found my morale in the dumpster last week. But what helped me turn my emotional compass back in a positive direction had nothing to do with any tried and true solutions I’d resorted to previously.
    Last Wednesday morning I was out and about, walking in the downtown area taking photos for different stories I was working on. My trek took me to city hall a couple of times for a meeting and interview, to the First Presbyterian Church where bell tower work was continuing, to North Main Street where the pouring of concrete for new curbing was ongoing and to the riverfront to take photos of the area where riverboats dock.
    With the temperature already approaching 90 degrees under a clear sky, I was more than slightly tempted to prance about in the fountain at Glascock’s Landing.
    As I longingly looked at the surging water, for some reason my eyes noticed a small item sitting on a nearby bench. It was about the size of a cell phone and was inside a small carrying case.
    With no one around, I felt safe in assuming that someone had accidentally left the device, which I still wasn’t sure what it did after opening the case in an attempt to find its owner’s ID.
    What to do? The easy course of action would have been to leave it and go on my merry way.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Whoever lost it will come back for it, right?” I asked myself.
    “But if you leave it, what are the odds it will end up in its rightful owner’s hands?” I countered, imagining it being taken, broken or thrown in the river.
    If I did take it, to whom would I turn it in to – police or parks department?
    Because the Parks Department office was closer, and since I’d found it in a park, I slipped the device in my camera bag and set a course for city hall. In the parks office I gave a Reader’s Digest account of finding the item and left it, hoping that its owner would think to call there.
    The very next day I was told by multiple sources that the device’s owner had indeed been reunited with what turned out to be a small, yet important piece of medical equipment.
    I share this story today, not to highlight a simple good deed, but to tell how uplifted my spirit was after learning I had indeed aided someone else.
    For those of you who regularly reach out to others, the “buzz” one gets from assisting another isn’t a revelation. But for me, it was solace for my soul. 
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