SIGMT 2021 Vol 14 Iss 3

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Page 9 of 99

GOODNESS & VIRTUE realization that the state of emergency cast over the world may be easing up, at least in Montana. Still, our current reality packs a lot of unpredictability, false narratives, and half-truths. Surely, the truth will surface sooner or later. Regardless, I am tired of teetering on the edge of disaster and uncertainty every day. I want to start living again, without shame and judgment. e perpetual aempts to make people change their behavior and the overzealous enthusiasm for character assassination over this virus are infallible. Social media comments like, "at is a nice picture of your huge, unmasked, anti-vaxed gathering," or, "Look at the fear-mongering sheep still wearing masks." It's time for people driving the judgmental bus to pump the brakes before bierness, loneliness, and lack of tolerance pave a hardened path to somewhere they don't want to be. Despite the current state of affairs, we must remember that people are inherently good for the most part. It might be an excellent time to take a deep breath and dust off that old adage; If you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all. In this issue, like every issue of Signature MT Magazine, we highlight people full of goodness and virtue. Dr. Mike Norton is no stranger to kindness. As a veterinarian and owner of Best Friends Animal Hospital in Great Falls, Dr. Norton wears many hats; surgeon, internist, radiologist, pathologist, pharmacist, counselor, and at the end of the day, businessman. at's a lot of hats to wear, which explains why his days begin early and end in the wee morning hours. He aributes his success to a staff of equally kind, loving, and hardworking people. We hook up with some Great Falls gals as they head to the shooting range, where kindness and a healthy dose of competition forge solid friendships and a whole lot of newfound confidence. We recall the life of Jane Burne Smith, an early 1930s Montana ranching gal, who found great challenge beyond the fenceline of the family ranch. Once she stuck her boots into a pair of hobbled stirrups, she never looked back. She became one of a few professional women saddle bronc riders to compete in Mexico, Canada, and across the country. She proved her mele to the world on the back of a bronc. ese are just a handful of stories we have prepared for your reading pleasure. Find your comfy chair, stoke the fire, and indulge in one of our featured holiday drinks as you peruse yet another fantastic issue of Signature Montana Magazine. Remember, history has lots of bad behavior, but we are beer than that. Isn't now the perfect time to strike a happier chord within ourselves? Research shows that kindness makes people happier, and in turn, that happiness makes us kind. Now that's a positive cycle everyone should wrap their minds around. SIGNATURE MONTANA | EDITOR'S LETTER Hayley Lenington-Leray, Editor WITH KINDNESS A 10 | SIGNATURE MONTANA S MT GOD DOESN'T GIVE THE HARDEST BALES TO HIS TOUGHEST SOLDIERS, HE CREATES THE TOUGHEST SOLDIERS THROUGH LIFE'S HARDEST BALES UNKNOWN " ACT

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