Do your part to help make ’19 positive

On the subject of New Year’s resolutions, central Pennsylvania is like anywhere else in America. Many people will make resolutions — some of them frivolous, but some very meaningful.

Some of those resolutions will fall by the wayside quickly, others will remain intact for several months before being abandoned, while only a few, by comparison, still will be untarnished 365 days from today.

But like anywhere else, people here can dream — dream about a year unmarked by sadness, tragedy and anxiety about the future. People here can take steps to make 2019 better than 2018, by trying to be a leader on things that are right, not only for themselves but for others in their family, relationships and community.

Never underestimate how far acts of kindness can go toward making one’s life better, as well as a stronger barometer for hope.

In Blair County there’s much about which to be optimistic for the year ahead — and beyond.

The county’s economy is strong, and there are good people throughout Blair working to make it better, including many young adults who already have started to make their mark — who already have begun making what eventually will be a deep positive imprint, ensuring that the county will continue moving in the right direction.

It’s to be hoped that many, in whatever part of this county’s life they’re involved, will go on to achieve successes like two longtime Altoona retail giants, the late Donald Brett and Joel Cohen, in keeping Downtown Altoona alive and welcoming to people from near and far.

Brett, who died April 28 at age 76, owned and operated the women’s clothing retailer Meyer Jonasson, for many years a pillar of the downtown. Cohen, who died Dec. 4, operated the popular downtown Young Men’s Shop, which exuded confidence in the city business district even as other businesses were moving to suburban shopping areas.

It can be said that the positive spirit always exhibited by Brett and Cohen probably is helping to guide the downtown rebirth that is destined to make additional inroads during the 12 months ahead.

Meanwhile, Blair County’s future is deeply rooted in this county’s strong educational system that continues to prepare young people for the challenges ahead in this changing world.

Come spring, a new crop of future leaders will emerge with high energy and lofty goals.

Routine recommendations for the new year have a place, such as: Drive safely, work to better your community rather than undermine it, base your daily life on kindness to others rather than mean-spiritedness, be a source of positive guidance rather than the opposite, work hard, avoid dangerous temptations such as drugs.

Meanwhile, living and emphasizing courtesy, conscience and responsibility will go far in ensuring a positive year to remember decades from now.

Back in June, when Janet Mowery, owner of the Small Engine Shop along Juniata Gap Road, was being interviewed by Mirror reporter Walt Frank in connection with Small Engine’s 50th anniversary in business, Mowery attributed the company’s success and longevity to the main emphasis of her late father, who started the business: “Put our customers first.”

To respect and help others while otherwise trying to live a good, productive life might be the best resolution anyone can make this New Year’s.