Is there any one of us who has not benefitted from the advice of someone in their past? Who has  'caught a break' from someone? We have all been helped by someone who took the time to give us a helping hand.


An important aspect of planning future plans should be to sit down and remember how we benefitted from the kindness we received from others, and then most importantly, we should always make certain to pass that kindness ahead to someone else.


It's not as easy as it sounds because we only remember vividly the people who hurt us. We remember with great clarity the hard times we have been through. It is just plain human nature. For most of us, the rough parts of our lives are the ones we remember.


We all have coasted through the good times, more often than not, due to the benevolence of others. And many times we have forgotten the good souls.


Years ago I drove a cab in Toronto on weekends, to supplement the income I was making in the newspaper business. It was a great experience and I met thousands of wonderful people.


But when I think about those days, first I always remember the bad people and the hard times. Then, if I am pressed, I will say,  “Yeah,  but there were ‘way more good people in my cab than bad people.” I just forgot.


There are days, especially these days, when I become frustrated with what I am doing. Month after month, I never know if we will have enough advertising in REM to cover all the bills. It is clear to me that I will never make a great deal of money publishing this newspaper.


And it really does get me down.


I wish I could drive a Chevrolet Suburban, the car of my dreams. I wish my house wasn't so heavily mortgaged. I wish I had a cottage up north. I wish Conrad Black would call me up and give me a million dollars for this newspaper. Like, as if.


But when I think about it, I do have a pretty swell Chevy Safari mini van. And even if it is mortgaged, I am pleased that my family has this nice little house in Stratford. And the payments are all up to date. We have a general manager here, John Cooper, who tenaciously keeps track of money. He is a good friend, who I should not take for granted. We have terrible arguments and frequent ill feeling over money but if it weren't for him I know we'd be in a real financial mess.


Come to think of it, many of REM's advertisers have become very close friends of mine. We talk about our children, and our families, even the struggles that each of us have from time to time.


In point of fact, I have many friends in the real estate industry. I wouldn' t have met them if I didn't publish this newspaper. When I think of the good people in this business who stopped to give me a kind word or encouraged me to keep going or made a few calls on my behalf to keep this thing afloat, I realize how wrong I am to complain.


I am astonished at my good fortune.


I wish you all the very best in the year ahead.


Heino Molls is publisher of REM.



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