Why It’s Never Been More Important to Think for Yourself

Now more than ever, we must observe with our own eyes, hear with our own ears and keep our own counsel. Here’s a story about why. 

Photo by Peartree/Shutterstock.com

A few years ago, I flew back to my home town for a high school reunion. I rented a car and drove to the Historic Brook Forest Inn, where I had made reservations to stay. It’s a quaint old place, dating back to 1909.

Upon arrival, I carried my suitcase up two flights of stairs to an adorable little room. I was excited. I set up my laptop and hung out for a couple of hours before heading to a barbecue, the first get-together of the reunion weekend.

Now more than ever, we must observe with our own eyes, hear with our own ears and keep our own counsel. 

As I hugged, laughed and caught up with my old classmates, it came up several times that I was staying at the Brook Forest Inn, and one for one the response was, “Really? Did you know that place is haunted?” 

Umm, no, I didn’t. 

But upon further inquiry, no one had had any personal experiences with the haunting, they had just heard about it. 

Still, heading back to the Inn very late that night, I noticed not a single car passed me on the six-mile drive up the winding Brook Forest Road. It was eerie. When I arrived, I brightened up at the sight of many locals enjoying themselves in the bar area. Yet when I made it up to my tiny third-floor room, the eerie feeling was back. The space I had enjoyed relaxing in earlier that day was not so cute any more. Was there someone in here with me? I walked into the bathroom and stopped. I perceived no one but me. I went and sat on the bed. Again, no one but me. 

Then it hit me: the only thing that had changed from earlier that day was… me. I had altered my outlook based on a rumor. I laughed. I decided at that point to enjoy my time at the Inn, as I had originally intended. For the rest of the weekend, I perceived nothing paranormal whatsoever and thoroughly enjoyed my stay.

One lightbulb on
Photo by Ruslan Grumble/Shutterstock.com

Now I’m not saying the place isn’t haunted. (I certainly wouldn’t want to disappoint anyone.) But I am saying that in that room on that particular weekend, I was the only spiritual inhabitant. And I was fine with that!

Looking back, my weekend could have been quite different depending on my own response to a rumor. I know a person or two who would have immediately checked out of that place, or if staying, would have been too afraid to fall asleep. 

Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned here. Do you feel it coming? Ah, yes indeed!

L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of my religion, Scientology, wrote, “What is true for you is what you have observed yourself. And when you lose that, you have lost everything.” 

How many of us take care to verify the rumors we hear by making our own observations? Whether the source is trusted, questionable or entirely unreliable, are we keeping a watchful eye on how we are influenced by that source’s “information” or are we letting our opinions, actions and lives get knocked around by others like a ball in a pinball machine?

When I returned home after my trip, my husband asked Google if the Brook Forest Inn was haunted. The internet was consistent with what my classmates had told me. But I’d like to recommend that, if you are ever in Colorado, you go and find out for yourself.

Melissa Butz
Scientologist, bookkeeper, lover of family, friends and the outdoors