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From the Publisher’s Desk


Dear Readers,

As the publisher of the West Plains Daily Quill and West Plains Gazette I’ve seen firsthand how the seasons not only change the landscape around us but also the mood and spirit of our community. The recent study by Mixbook, which usually keeps its focus on preserving memories through photobooks, took a fascinating detour into charting the nation’s optimism. It’s a topic close to my heart and, I believe, crucial for our community’s heart too.

This survey of 3,000 people across the U.S. aimed to pinpoint when exactly we feel our most optimistic. The findings? As varied as the American landscape itself. But for us here in Missouri, it’s heartening to see that our peak optimism shines bright early in April, just two days into the month. There’s something special about spring in Missouri, isn’t there? The way the dogwoods bloom, the rivers start to sing a bit louder with thawing ice, and our towns shake off the winter slumber.

Now, what really got me thinking was the “why” behind this wave of optimism. Turns out, 35% of folks find their joy in personal milestones and achievements. It's about growth, about pushing forward, and isn’t that just the essence of our community? We strive, we grow, we celebrate each other’s victories. Then there’s the 18% finding their spark in financial improvements and 15% in hitting those health goals. It’s a reminder of the complex tapestry of factors that feed into our sense of hope and positivity.

And would you believe it? Our optimism is on the rise. This year, a whopping 37% of Missourians reported feeling hopeful, a stark increase from the past few years. It makes me proud to see our state leaning into optimism, especially considering the rollercoaster we’ve all been on since 2020.

But here’s the kicker — this survey suggests we’re riding high on optimism for nearly half the year. That’s 171 days of looking at the glass half full, of believing in the good, and anticipating the best. It speaks volumes about the resilience and spirit of our community and, indeed, our nation.

It's not just about the numbers, though. This surge in optimism, particularly here in Missouri, underscores a deeper narrative. It’s about the community coming together, finding reasons to hope and smile amid challenges. It’s about personal achievements, yes, but also about the collective milestones we reach as a community.

The fact that 89% of respondents gravitate towards optimistic individuals is a testament to the power of positivity. It’s contagious, in the best way possible. It binds us together, fuels our communal endeavors, and, frankly, makes life a lot more enjoyable.

So, what do we do with all this information? We embrace it. We let it remind us to look for the silver linings, to celebrate the small victories, and to push forward with hope. It’s a call to action for all of us, especially here in Missouri, to nurture this optimism, to spread it, and to let it be the force that drives us toward a brighter, more hopeful future.

I see the stories of hope and resilience every day. And I’m committed to making sure those stories are told, to keep feeding that flame of optimism. Because, at the end of the day, it’s not just about the arrival of spring or hitting our personal goals. It’s about the shared spirit of a community that looks forward, together, with hope and anticipation. Here’s to making every one of those 171 optimistic days count, and then some.

Warm Regards,
Chris Herbolsheimer
West Plains Daily Quill and West Plains Gazette