For the better part of a decade, I was a contributing editorialist for a respected and admired weekly newspaper with a long history and very loyal following.
Though I was only in my mid-twenties when I began writing for The Leader, my more mature-minded writing (not unlike this blog) seemed to appeal to a wide range of readers. I’ve always been much older in terms of thought and behavior than my age might suggest. I’m not sure how or why that happens to certain individuals journeying through life, but I’ve always been one of them – still am. I credit this character trait for my many successful years with the newspaper.
During my affiliation with The Leader, my columns were a popular part of the weekly publication. They were filled with honesty and sincerity – not pretense. My words were inspiring, heartwarming and thought provoking in a world of materialism, stereotypes and biases towards one another. I hoped my unique approach to writing this column would bring about change in as many lives as possible – while showing readers that not all “twenty something’s” are only interested in themselves.
The response was truly unexpected: cards, emails and phone calls by people genuinely expressing their admiration for something I had recently written. To this day I am still so very proud of my tenure and incredibly grateful to the editors of The Leader for providing me an amazing opportunity to share my thoughts with a mass audience.
But things in life rarely stay as they are. In the words of Anatole France, “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”
The once thriving newspaper industry has ceased to be relevant in today’s technological age, where information is now obtained on tiny hand-held devices. Sadly The Leader fell victim to what seems inevitable for many publications around the country. Unable to stay afloat through a turbulent economy, their last publication and my last contribution was in early December 2010.
Fast forward almost three years later.
It was an ordinary fall evening and my wife and I were out enjoying a pleasant walk through town. The sun had already set into the horizon, but the bright lights of the main street helped us navigate along.
As we approached a middle aged gentlemen walking the opposite way, I was overwhelmed when he recognized me from my newspaper days – stopping to say how much he enjoyed and now missed reading my columns. It was a brief moment in time, but left me with a true feeling of accomplishment for the remainder of the evening.
There is truly no better feeling in the world than to be on the receiving end of an unsolicited expression of kindness and appreciation. To that gentleman and to all those who have blessed me with such a response, I say THANK YOU for reminding me of what I so often forget.