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  • Writer's pictureDr. Francis Battisti & Dr. Helen Battisti

The Zone - Volume 88

Life can offer us continuing moments to reflect on where we have been, where we are at this moment and where we would like to be. Some of these moments can be the start of a new academic year, the beginning of a new year, birthdays, fiscal year, generally anytime.

Recently we were asked by a reader, “How do we reflect and reinvigorate throughout the year?”

This past weekend we spent our time in a little town, in the middle of nowhere, spending time reflecting on this special time of year. This weekend was planned during the summer when we knew that this time of the year can move so quickly and be so hectic and challenging that we wanted to ensure we had time to reflect and experience the season. Taking in each experience deliberately has been important to us.

This little town, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, was our destination for their Sixth Annual Christmas on Main Street. What started as a weekend to get away soon turned into an experience in The Town that Saved Christmas, that will be with us for a long time. This small community of around 3,000 individuals, like so many communities around our country, has experienced major setbacks and challenges that have, at times, threatened the wellbeing of the town. What struck us was the history of the town folk continually pushing forward and building on the strengths of the community and its residents and meeting the challenges that have been in their history.

What started in 1916 as an idea to turn an idle window glass factory in town into a producer of light bulbs, soon grew to employ over 650 local employees. Basically, a local resident took a well-crafted idea, that community leaders had developed with him, to Corning Glass and sold them on the idea of opening a satellite plant in Wellsboro. The President of Corning Glass, at the time, wrote, “the helpfulness and general character of the people of Wellsboro and vicinity soon convinced us that our choice of this good borough was no mistake. The production of these boys who had no experience with glass was always better than that of experienced glass workers…This was mostly because they had no pre-conceived notions on why something could not be done.” This statement is so powerful that it offers many lessons for each of us to think about and absorb. An idea, teamwork, tenacity, helpfulness, positive character strengths, creativity…all lessons to help each of us to move forward.

Through a series of possible setbacks, resilience, and adaptability of bouncing back throughout the 20th century continues today. For this little town, `The Glass Christmas Ornament Capital of the World” continues to demonstrate how reflection and reinvigoration are part of their community’s DNA. In 2016 the glass plant closed again and, once again, the community had to bounce back.

Presently, their focus is on tourism and making Wellsboro a destination point. Once again building on a rich past and utilizing the strengths that their community of the surrounding area offer.

What started for us as a weekend away, developed into a living lesson of adaptability, perseverance, and teamwork. What was amazing to us was how this town really lives the spirit of this time of year. We experienced the beautiful Christmas parade Friday evening, the tour of the downtown area with the truly gifted tour guide, the superb hospitality of the Penn Wells Hotel and its inviting fireplace, to the real life Santa who delighted everyone he met and to all the visitors and locals who all wished each other happy greetings. All of this is the picture of this season. However, the backdrop story of the people and community of Wellsboro and how they have navigated their world is the real lesson for all of us.

Thank you, Wellsboro, you have taught us much!


Key Takeaways

  • Examples to learn from are around all of us.

  • Resilience and adaptability can be character traits of communities.

  • Where you place your focus, grows.

Best Practices

  • Take time to listen and experience.

  • Review your own history and look for richness which can propel you.

  • Allow yourself some good down time.

Things to Limit

  • Listening to the “Grinch” in all of us.

  • Thinking that you are too old to contribute.

  • Fear of failure which prevents our involvement


Quote of the Week

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

~ Margaret Mead


Being students of how change, personal and organizational, evolves and takes hold, it is always so interesting to witness when individuals and organizations truly do change. Not just a slogan or new name, but fundamentally change the way the world is experienced. Our latest adventure strengthened our belief that we can make things better when we stay with the sense that we don’t know that we can fail.

Be well,

The paraDocs

Check our Welcome Greeting on YouTube

The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P and Chief Academic Officer and Dr. Helen E. Battisti PhD, RDN, CDN, Chief Nutrition Officer, at SpNOD, Health Promotion Specialist, Research and Clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and former Assistant Professor.

We have developed "The ZONE", because that is exactly where you want to be during this pandemic. A place of focused attention to doing exactly what needs to be done to get you to where you need to be. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a nationally distributed weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.

If you would like to get copies of The ZONE that you may have missed or if you know someone that would like to start receiving The ZONE, please signup today... It's free and you can unsubscribe anytime.

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