Don Rogers: In some ways we’re better with the downturn in the Vail Valley |

Don Rogers: In some ways we’re better with the downturn in the Vail Valley

Don Rogers
Vail, CO, Colorado

Thanks for the praise for this year’s April Fool’s stories this year. They did turn out well.

The community could use the little break for some humor, and the staff did too.

Oh, this just in, a late entry by phone call yesterday: Secret sources Rachel Rogers and Morgan Wyrick report that Eagle Valley High School is up for sale. The seniors in a prankster mood insisted that we share this “news” even though April 1 has come and gone. Ah, the many trials of parenthood.

Away from campus, where the seniors plainly are beginning to get restless, the community is racing for that off-season cliff of uncertainty.

The economic correction seems unrelenting. The pressure keeps building. I wonder how all this changes us.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Do you think this bust cycle makes us better people, or worse?

I’m the curmudgeon who wears rose-colored glasses. So I see us becoming the better for the wear, rather than worse.

Not economically, of course. And certainly for some of us, our tempers are shorter, our outlook darker. I get that. But you can’t help the folks who see doom in every challenge, evil lurking in each crevice, a Madoff or Vilar lurking in the heart of every financier.

Maybe I’m the fool, refusing to believe most lawyers want to rip me off, doctors want to order up more tests and prescribe the drugs that give them kickbacks, mechanics fix things that are not broken, and so on.

I’m the fool who believes people are inherently good. And I suspect most of us look at life this way.

So I see in this economic downturn more people finding their humanity, seeing that the material things are the lesser things. I see more compassion, more likelihood to feel for others and to help them in real ways.

I see us ultimately more likely to reach out, not so much with cash we have less of. In other ways. Warmer greetings. Less patience with trash talking.

More yearning for signs of people pulling together. More joy in happy endings.

I’m waxing ridiculous, I know. But I see it. I feel it. April Fool’s — silly stories — gave people a break I doubt they’d fully appreciate otherwise.

We’re better people for this recession. I know it. Surely a fool, but I’m not wrong.

Don Rogers is the editor and publisher of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at 970-748-2920 or He welcomes your comments.

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