What a difference a year makes.

At this time last year, Tropical Storm Michael had just finished cutting a swath of destruction through Halifax County, something some areas of the county have yet to recover from.

Last weekend, the county had the benefit of rainfall from Tropical Storm Nestor, which in large part helped the area recover from one of the worst droughts ever.

It seems nothing comes in moderation anymore, at least in my existence.

Before the age of 60, I enjoyed great health with a multitude of normal checkups, but the last couple of years have seen different diagnoses.

I’m half robot now, complete with a pacemaker, and my list of medications also has been upgraded, so those carefree days without health worries are behind me.

Everything in life is either ying or yang, pro or con, and there seems to be no middle ground on any subject.

It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even watch television news anymore, because everything is so biased to one direction or another.

Instead of taking sides, I go out of my way to be kind to everyone I come into contact with, no matter their station in life.

“Thank you,” and “you’re welcome” have become commonplace expressions for me, and I find myself becoming much like Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

As I’ve gotten older, I find it more convenient to emulate people like Fred Rogers, with his calm and pleasant demeanor and his straightforward way of dealing with difficult issues.

We all could learn a lesson from Fred Rogers and others like him, who show respect toward others, no matter what their station in life.

Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood ran for over 900 episodes and covered a number of difficult topics emphasizing a child’s values of self-worth and traits such as sharing and civility.

I know a lot of adults — as well as myself — who could learn a lesson or two from the late Mr. Rogers.

The lessons he taught still have value a generation after his death, particularly tolerance.

Remember those lessons next time you have a disagreement with someone over something so trivial as to not raise an eyebrow.

Doug Ford reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at dford@gazettevirginian.com.

Doug Ford covers news and sports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at dford@gazettevirginian.com.