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  • Riyan Holte


Growing up in the Arabian horse community, I had slightly different heroes than most. I was vaguely interested in the usual hero (as seen on TV), but the legends of our breed (both two-legged and four) have molded, impacted and influenced me beyond the ‘normal’ realm.

As the years pass, I find that I am increasingly more interested in what influences positive motivation in a person, especially as it relates to role models (or heroes). When we identify with people who exhibit responsibility, courage, faith and other positive characteristics, we are often inspired and motivated to demonstrate the same.

I wonder why it often takes the loss or death of a positive influence for us to really take note and acknowledge what it was about that person that makes us miss them and ponder what it was that made them special. Perhaps it’s due, in part to obituaries. What initially is viewed as morbid stories, in truth only contains one line dealing with death, and then the rest of the story focuses on the amazing lives people lead.

Death is one of the most difficult things that any of us will have to deal with in life. It is personal, unique, and very different from person to person. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. We never get used to the idea of someone being gone, especially when they have motivated us and impacted our life through positive influence. Just when we get our thoughts back to some sense of normality, someone or something reminds us that they are really gone. It’s in those moments that the words of Mitch Albom can offer a bit of peace; “Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

In the past six months, 3 powerfully influential heroes in our community have passed. Each of these beautiful human beings had a positive influence on my life and the lives of people I care deeply for. May they forever remain in our memories and be relationships that continue to mold us to the day we pass.

“It is not length of life, but depth of life.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson


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