On the spectrum…


Contributing Editor
Walter W. Pickut

Sunlight contains every color in the rainbow, the full spectrum of shades and hues, but it looks bright and white simply because that’s what we see when they’re all mixed together.

Sometimes Mother Nature gives us the gift of a rainbow. She spreads out all her colors across the sky and shows us how much beauty there is between the opposite ends of the spectrum.

That’s why this week your Jamestown Gazette leads off with our story about the elections. The candidates are all on a spectrum of their own. Just imagine how blind we would be if all we saw was the ends of that spectrum, only Left or Right—and nothing in between.

Please remember that this year’s political candidates are real people. Don’t miss their real colors, their subtle shades—their full spectrum.

Beware! Today’s political discourse tends to promote spectrum-blindness and a winner-takes-all mentality. That works in sports. After all, only one team will win the World Series this year, right? Only they get to take home all the glory and all the prizes. Losers just go home empty-handed.

But in politics, winner serves all. That’s because voters are on a spectrum, too. Just imagine what would happen if one color in the rainbow hated all the others. That would be like sunshine despising itself.

Then there’s the personal side of spectra. Your personal beliefs are only one point on a spectrum. Full spectrum thinking takes an effort to appreciate all the other colors.

When’s the last time somebody greeted you with “Hello, Sunshine?”

It’s a wonderful compliment because it might mean somebody sees all your colors. Sometimes you’re sad and blue, sometimes green with envy, or even red-hot mad. And, of course, sometimes your eyes are just sparkling! Yes, you are a colorful person.

Do you remember Mae West? She once said,

“Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.”

Have you lit up any dark places or faces with your light lately? You’ve got what it takes, you know.

But what if your own personal spectrum was missing a color or two, or what if you were colorblind and you couldn’t see all the colors in the rainbow? That’s all the more reason, isn’t it, that you’d want people to see the colors you have inside you, or to help you see a few things beyond your own vision?

This week the Jamestown Gazette also invites you, yes you, Sunshine, holding this newspaper in front of your bright eyes, to take a walk with someone who’s colors might be fading, someone who needs a little help making his or her own colors shine out a little brighter—a little help seeing a few more colors in life’s spectrum.

Just like eyesight, mental vision can fade, too. Everybody has “cloudy days” from time to time, and as Annie once sang to us all, “The sun’ll come out tomorrow… It clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow.” Some days, all I need is a good cup of coffee to put the sparkle back in my eyes. But for some people, it might take a little more.

That’s why this week we also bring you a story about those among us for whom the sun grows dimmer day by day with an advancing dementia. Learn how you can all help them stay a little closer to the full light of life.

Kindness can transform someone’s dark moment with a blaze of light. You will never know how much your caring matters. Make a difference for another today.

Amy Leigh Mercree

When you step out to help someone else with the light you’ve been given, you’ll see your own true colors grow brighter too.

Enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut
Contributing Editor

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.