Loyalty: A fading legacy

“What is desirable in a person is loyalty …”
– Proverbs 19:22

Last fall I asked a panel of human resources professionals whether I should include on my resume the fact that I held one job for 21 years, and worked for that company for 24 years. Does that show lack of initiative, or does it show loyalty?

The consensus was: Keep that on my resume. It shows my willingness to persevere even when things get tough.

Loyalty – to anything or anyone – is hard to see sometimes. We do see it if we look for it. For me at least, that is inspiring.

Career

Today, the average person changes jobs 10 to 15 times during his or her career, according to about.com. Many workers spend five years or less in each job.

http://jobsearch.about.com/od/employmentinformation/f/change-jobs.htm

Reasons for changing jobs, according to about.com:

  • Higher pay
  • Relocation to a different geographic area
  • Career advancement
  • Choosing a less stressful job
  • Escaping an incompetent or negative boss
  • Changing career focus
  • Work-life balance
  • Reorganization at their company
  • Layoff due to duplication of their job resulting from a merger or acquisition
  • More interesting work
  • Skills and abilities didn’t fit the job
  • Lack of recognition for accomplishments
  • Outsourcing of job function
  • Company moved to a new location
  • Better alignment between personal values and organizational priorities

The employee takes the initiative with all of these job and career changes. In addition to that, job security is a thing of the past. Even if we want to be loyal, the boss doesn’t always want us around for the long haul.

For many reasons, it’s rare any more to spend an entire career at one company. (Unless you’re a politician who keeps getting re-elected, but that’s getting off-track.)

Professional sports

In a similar vein, professional athletes for decades were bound to their team. Contracts contained reserve clauses, which forced players to stay with one team. Players changed teams only if they were traded, released or chose to retire.

Forced loyalty isn’t loyalty. Athletes sought freedom to sign a contract with a team of his or her own choosing.

http://www.villanovau.com/resources/bls/history-free-agency-pro-sports/#.Vss-MfkrLIU

Cardinals Curt Flood 1968
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Curt Flood is shown, March 1968. (The Associated Press)

In 1969, St. Louis Cardinals baseball outfielder Curt Flood became the first professional athlete to fight for free agency rights. Flood challenged Major League Baseball’s reserve clause. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn denied Flood’s challenge, so Flood sued Major League Baseball for antitrust violations.

In 1972, Flood v. Kuhn reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled against Flood in a 5-3 decision, stating that baseball was a sport and not a business, and therefore exempt from anti-trust law.

Although unsuccessful, Flood’s challenge helped open the door for other players to fight the reserve clause. In 1974, baseball arbitrator Marvin Miller encouraged pitchers Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally to play out the year without signing a contract. After the season, the players filed a grievance, claiming that they should be awarded free agent status. Baseball team owners disagreed, arguing that one-year contracts under the reserve clause were perpetually renewed.

On Dec. 23, 1975, arbitrator Peter Seitz reversed the Supreme Court’s verdict and declared that Major League Baseball players had the right to become free agents after playing one year for their team without a contract. The ruling terminated the reserve clause from sports, paving the way toward modern free agency.

In 1976, Major League Baseball and its Players Association signed an agreement that allowed players with at least six years of experience to become free agents. The National Football League became the second North American sport to adopt a similar free agency policy in 1992, followed by the National Hockey League in 1995 and the National Basketball Association in 1996.

While free agency allows athletes to change teams as their contracts expire, some remain loyal to their employers. Here’s two easily identifiable examples.

Tim Duncan
San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan on Feb. 21. (The Associated Press)

Tim Duncan has played 18 years for the San Antonio Spurs, starting with the 1997-98 season. He has averaged 19.2 points per game over his career, has played in the playoffs all but one of those years, and played in 15 all-star games.

Kobe Bryant has played 19 years for the Los Angeles Lakers, starting with the 1996-97 season. He has averaged 25.1 points per game over his career, played in the playoffs 15 years, and has played in the all-star game every year of his career except one.

When you think about Duncan, you think about San Antonio. When you think about Kobe, the Lakers immediately come to mind. That’s what loyalty does.

In college basketball, coaches take center stage, since the players graduate in four years (if they stay that long). Again, here are two great examples of loyal – and successful – coaches.

After coaching at his alma mater, Army, for five years, Mike Krzyzewski has coached at Duke since 1980-81. He has won 965 games at Duke and more than 1,000 in his career.

Tom Izzo has coached at Michigan State (my alma mater, by the way) for 21 years, since 1995-96, after serving as an assistant to his predecessor beginning in 1983. His teams have made the Final Four seven of his 21 seasons.

Tom Izzo
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo on Feb. 6. (The Associated Press)

 

 

Both Coach K, has he is affectionately known, and Izzo have been tempted by offers to become NBA head coaches. Both have chosen to cement their legacies at their university programs. They are two of the most highly respected coaches in the game.

But as an example of loyalty, it’s hard to match Vin Scully. He has broadcast baseball games for the Los Angeles Dodgers for 65 years – since 1950, when the team played in Brooklyn, N.Y. (The team moved to L.A. in 1958.) He now is 88 years old, and plans to continue broadcasting in 2016.

Marriage

While we may or may not have the choice to remain loyal to our employer, we do have the choice to remain loyal to our spouse (for those of us who are married). According to the American Psychological Association, marriage and divorce are both common experiences. In Western cultures, more than 90 percent of people marry by age 50.

http://www.apa.org/topics/divorce/

Healthy marriages are good for couples’ mental and physical health, the Association says. They are also good for children; growing up in a happy home protects children from mental, physical, educational and social problems.

However, 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.

Co-habitation shows a lack of commitment, which shows a lack of loyalty. Some of those relationships last a long time – most don’t – but those in them always have one foot out the door. Otherwise, they’d commit.

Nearly half of women in what researchers call “first unions” with men — 48 percent — moved in with no wedding vows, according to interviews conducted between 2006 and 2010, up from 43 percent in 2002 and 34 percent in 1995.

By the time they are 20, one in four women ages 15 to 44 in the U.S. have lived with a man, and by the time they are 30, that ratio climbs to three in four, the study shows.

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/new-normal-cohabitation-rise-study-finds-f1C9208429

Conclusion

In many areas of life, we Americans do not show loyalty the way we used to. Loyalty requires us, at times, to let go of our wishes and desires for the greater good. Many of us are unwilling to do that.

For those that do, the rewards are huge. My parents have been married for 56 years. What an example they have set for my sister and me – and for others who know them.

The respect we have for Duncan, Bryant and others like them also is top-notch. Both will join the NBA Hall of Fame the year they become eligible, I’m sure. And rightfully so.

If only the rest of us would follow in their (very big) shoes …

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Jer. 29:11 – what it means to me

“I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

I came across this verse in my devotions recently. The devotion offered this thought: “Hoping has to do with planning. How do you plan for the future?”

Two thoughts came to mind. The first has to do with the verse itself; the second has to do with that question.

First, God’s plans are “to prosper you and not to harm you.” In context, Jeremiah wrote this verse in a letter to exiles in Babylon (Jer. 29:1). He told the exiles to build homes in Babylon, get married and have families there, and make their living there. Once their time was complete, then God would return the exiles to Jerusalem. This is the hope that Jeremiah speaks of in verse 11.

This verse is not a promise of material prosperity, which is how Western Christians often interpret it. We are to bloom where we are planted. What if God called you away from your home, to move your family to a place where you don’t know anyone? (By the way, this has happened to my wife and me. Twice.)

Even more basic: Do you thank God that you live in the United States of America? I’ve seen on the news recently that the civil war in Syria is turning ugly: Both sides, the government and the opposition, are using food as a weapon. Both sides have cut off large cities from food sources, so thousands of innocent civilians are dying of starvation. Literally.

APTOPIX Mideast War And Hunger
A malnourished child waits to receive treatment at a therapeutic feeding center in a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen, in January. This child is one of millions of people across countries like Syria, Yemen and Iraq are gripped by hunger. (Associated Press)

I dare you to share Jeremiah 29:11 with anyone in Syria right now.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-26116868

Second, I just went through an 11-month job search, and occasionally I was asked: “Where do you see yourself in five years? Or 10 years?”

I hate that question, because I have no idea where I’ll be five years from now. Hopefully here, doing what I’m doing now, but God doesn’t promise that.

I worked as a newspaper copy editor, doing layout and design as well as editing stories, for about 30 years. My wife and I raised our three sons in Saginaw, Mich.; I worked for the daily paper there. The paper prospered and was well-respected across the community.

Internally, the publisher even gave the employees a written job pledge every January, saying that as long as the paper published seven days a week, our jobs would not be eliminated due to changing technology. The publisher reserved the right to change our job descriptions as needed, but we had jobs for life.

I made a decent salary, enough to provide for a family of five. My wife was a stay-at-home mom. We attended church each Sunday and were active members there, as well as participants in our sons’ school activities and after-school sports. We had a great middle-class American life.

In 2000, while the newspaper thrived and our sons were growing up, God spoke to me. Not verbally, but He very clearly gave me a message: Bill, you are putting your trust in that job pledge, and not in Me. I want to be first in your life.

I wrestled with that for a long time. God, what are You saying? Do You want me to give up all the good things You have blessed me with?

Trust Me, He said. Give Me first place in your heart.

Eventually, I did so. OK, God, I’m not sure what You’re getting at, but I’ll trust You with my future, and the future of my family. Everything is going great and I don’t see where anything needs to change, but I’m in Your hands.

As soon as I prayed that prayer, things began to happen. As I’m sure you know, the newspaper industry has pretty much fallen apart in recent years. God was trying to prepare me for that even in the good times, like Noah building the ark while the sun was still shining.

The living God saw the future. I did not.

In 2009, my job was eliminated. Even though God tried to prepare me for that moment, I still did not handle it well. Our youngest son was just completing his freshman year of high school, and I was out of work.

I held that job for 24 years. I was 49 years old. Now what?

Eventually, I found a job in a call center, where I worked until our son graduated from high school. Then, since I didn’t know any other profession, I decided to return to the newspaper industry. Since our hometown newspaper was off-limits now, that meant we had to move. Most likely out of state.

Which is what happened. I found a job in Rockford, Ill., west of Chicago. My wife was not happy about that move and I did not prepare her for it at all.

After less than a year in Rockford, my new employer announced the company was relocating to Austin, Texas. Since our family is in the Midwest, we decided not to move to Austin. I dusted off the resume again and found another newspaper position, this time in Elyria, Ohio, west of Cleveland.

So, we made our second out-of-state move in less than three years, after living in one place for more than two decades.

My job in Elyria lasted 13 months. I was fired. I didn’t see it coming, unlike the 2009 downsizing.

OK, God, what’s going on here? When You wanted me to trust You instead of that job pledge, is this what You had in mind? Uncertainty? Multiple moves? Pain in our marriage? Another job search? We were preparing to buy a house when my income disappeared.

Is this my future? Is this my hope?

God was forcing me to depend on Him. I came slowly. After 11 months on the unemployment line, I started a job last month in a new career field, assisting people with developmental disabilities. I look forward to going to work in the morning.

The past few years have not been “prosperous” for us. At least, not in America’s eyes.

God has a different definition of “prosperous” than we do. We have been blessed in so many ways our entire lives – including now.

Here’s another line from the devotion: “God is planning right now for your success. It talks about “significance of life.”

My income is quite a bit less than it was in 2009, when I got downsized. But we have money in the bank and we don’t worry about where our next meal is coming from. Our tithe is less, which bothers me, but it is what it is.

When I was job-searching, I felt like a failure. I was not providing for my family. My wife works two part-time jobs, and we drew down savings a little to help meet expenses. I did some volunteer work to feel useful. Our life group at church prayed for me, and I appreciated those prayers.

god's plan

 

 

If I was to plot the story of my life on a graph, for most of my adult life it would show a smooth, straight line. In recent years, however, that line has jerked up and down, mostly down.

I would not have written the story of my life this way. But God did.

Because God did, my wife and I have met many wonderful people we otherwise never would have met. We have seen God do things we didn’t know were possible.

Is this what it means to prosper, to have a future and a hope?

Where is God leading you? Do you have bumps and bruises, or worse? Or has God blessed you with many sunny days?

I’m learning to praise Him, in the sunny days and the rainy ones. And even, here in northeast Ohio, in the freezing cold days.

Where will we be in five years? I have no idea. Hopefully here, but the job pledge is long gone. I have a better pledge. It’s Jeremiah 29:11.

Because I know a God who loves me.

Christians and the presidency: No clear choice

Christian_Politics.jpg (593×273)
credit: truthnochaser.com

 

Several presidential candidates are courting the votes of Christians. Who is the best candidate to promote Christian values?

It depends.

You didn’t want to hear that. You are hoping there’s one candidate that all Christians can rally around.

Christians, however, are not a monolithic voting bloc. We are liberals and conservatives, Protestants and Catholics, blacks and whites. We approach the Bible – and politics – from different perspectives.

Christians can’t even agree on how much we should involve ourselves in politics.

Assuming we should study the candidates and vote in the primaries/caucuses going on now and in the general election in November, here’s an overview of how certain candidates stack up against various Christian viewpoints.

The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer provides an interesting take on six groups of Christians.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/religion/article56234060.html

Here’s the summary:

Conservative Protestants

This mostly white, mostly evangelical group tends to get most of the attention from reporters on the campaign trail. That’s partly because white evangelicals – especially those in Baptist and non-denominational churches – dominate the GOP. They support traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

This group’s spiritual hero: Evangelist Billy Graham.

Its political icon: Former President Ronald Reagan.

Big issues in 2016: Persecution of Christians, abortion, support of Israel and “religious liberty,” aka opposition to same-sex marriage.

Early White House favorite: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

African-American churchgoers

Black churches – especially Baptist, AME and AME Zion – have been politically active since the early days of the civil rights movement. Equal rights remains a central issue to these voters. Black voters have remained loyal to the Democratic Party.

Spiritual hero: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Political icon: President Barack Obama.

Big issues: Jobs, poverty, voting rights, mass incarceration and “Black Lives Matter” (concerns about police shootings of African-Americans).

Early White House favorite: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Liberal Protestants

Mostly members of mainline denominations (Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Lutheran, United Church of Christ), these Christians subscribe closely to Jesus’ call to aid the poor and shun violence. Traditionally anti-war, they tend to live in urban areas and college towns. They vote Democratic, but their allegiance is more to ideology than party.

Spiritual hero: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a dissident Lutheran minister and theologian who was executed by the Nazis for plotting to kill Hitler.

Political icon: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., an outspoken critic of Wall Street.

Big issues: Economic inequality, LGBT rights, war, climate change, women’s rights, Wall Street greed.

Early White House favorite: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Angry Christians on the right

This mad-as-hell group adheres to Christian beliefs, but is willing to excuse divorces, big egos and flip-flopping on issues if a candidate is charismatic and outspoken and has a plan to bulldoze the Washington establishment. Conservative but also populist, these Christians want a champion who will get tough with immigrants here illegally, out-negotiate other countries on trade deals, and even make it OK again to say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.”

Spiritual hero: Franklin Graham.

Political icon: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Big issues: Immigration, Muslims, guns, trade and “political correctness,” which they define as pressure from liberal elites to muzzle the expression of honest opinion.

Early White House favorite: Businessman Donald Trump.

Liberal Catholics

This group has for years spent much of its energy trying to reform its 2,000-year-old church and promote the Catholic social teaching, which calls for a special emphasis on helping the poor. Now these Catholics have an ally in the Vatican.

Spiritual hero: Pope Francis.

Political icons: The Kennedys.

Big issues: Social justice, poverty, death penalty, gun control, immigration, climate change.

Early White House favorite: Tossup between Clinton and Sanders.

Conservative Catholics

These Catholics are regular church attendees, delight in the ancient church’s rituals and rules, and often participate in pro-life vigils outside abortion clinics. Their equally conservative U.S. bishops have stood tough against same-sex marriage and the birth control provisions in Obamacare. Many are one-issue voters on abortion.

Spiritual hero: Pope John Paul II.

Political icon: Recently deceased U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative Catholic and a strong dissenter in the high court’s decisions to uphold Obamacare and legalize same-sex marriage.

Big issues: Abortion, the Affordable Care Act, same-sex marriage.

Early White House favorite: This group will vote for the GOP, but is up for grabs at a time when two Catholics remain in the Republican field: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. One non-Catholic candidate many of them also like: Dr. Ben Carson.

An online Christian voting guide likes best two candidates who have dropped out, Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul, but gives decent marks to Ben Carson and Ted Cruz.

https://www.usa.church/christian-voting-guide/

All the other candidates still running are given the label “Biblically unqualified.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, 64 percent of GOP voters in the Iowa caucus identified themselves as evangelical. Of those voters, Cruz won 37 percent of the evangelical vote, Trump drew 22 percent and Rubio got 21 percent.

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-gop-evangelicals-divide-20160214-story.html

The Times agrees that the older, more traditional wing of the evangelical movement sees Cruz as its best chance to promote its Christian values. Cruz opposed drafting women into the Army and called the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage “lawless.”

Rubio appeals to the children of Jerry Falwell’s now-defunct Moral Majority, who aren’t necessarily more liberal or secular than their lineage, but prefer the come-as-you-are inclusivity of today’s cargo-shorts-and-guitar-rock churches.

These younger, more ethnically diverse Christians are just as theologically focused, said Russell Moore, recently named to a Southern Baptists leadership post, but they are skeptical of politicians who “use the gospel as mascot.” They are seeking more authentic expressions of both politics and faith.

For many of them, Rubio’s attempt to tackle immigration reform and his comment that he would attend a friend’s same-sex marriage better reflect their brand of Christian values, Moore said.

Moreover, this group includes many of the non-white evangelicals who are now one of the fastest-growing segments, and whom Republicans most need to reach.

Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans who call themselves religious have strong feelings about their faith – and the faith of those in the other party, according to a Pew Research Center study conducted in January.

http://www.pewforum.org/2016/01/27/faith-and-the-2016-campaign/

Candidates are viewed as religious by more people in their own party than the opposing party. The biggest partisan gap is seen in views about Hillary Clinton; two-thirds of Democrats say she is “very” or “somewhat” religious, while two-thirds of Republicans say that she is “not too” or “not at all” religious.

Half of Americans (51%) believe religious conservatives have too much control over the GOP, and more than four in 10 (44%) think that liberals who are not religious have too much control over the Democratic Party. Partisans are deeply divided on this question. Two-thirds of Democrats say the GOP has been co-opted by religious conservatives, while most Republicans reject this notion. Conversely, two-thirds of Republicans believe that secular liberals have too much power in the Democratic Party, while two-thirds of Democrats disagree.

Finally, at least one website says Christians should tread lightly in politics.

http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-politics.html

According to the website, in the New Testament, the apostles never called for believers to demonstrate civil disobedience to protest the Roman Empire’s unjust laws or brutal schemes … (yet) where we have a voice and can elect our leaders, we should exercise that right by voting for those whose views most closely parallel our own.

The church has made a mistake if it thinks that it is the job of politicians to defend, to advance and to guard biblical truths and Christian values. The church’s unique God-given purpose does not lie in political activism. Nowhere in Scripture do we have the directive to spend our energy, our time or our money in governmental affairs.
Believers throughout the ages have lived, and even flourished, under antagonistic, repressive, pagan governments. This was especially true of the first-century believers who, under merciless political regimes, sustained their faith under immense cultural stress. The same holds true for us today.

So, no matter who we elect as president of the United States, we should respect his or her authority. Since Christians cannot agree on what the most important issues are, we should reserve judgment on our leader and let God handle that.

Each of us, as Christians and as United States citizens, must decide for ourselves what issues the president (and Congress, by the way, since the president cannot act alone) should focus on.

I believe each of us should vote. We cannot voice our opinions, pro or con, if we aren’t willing to back up our words with action.

It’s my contention that the United States is not a Christian nation. Should it be? We are ever diversifying, ethnically, religiously and politically. For those of us who believe, God remains in control. Even if we do not see the path we are traveling on.

More than 300 million of us live in this country. We aren’t going to agree on much. How do we handle that?

Perhaps the answer to this question will define us as Christians.

11-month job search ends

I start the van, let it warm up. The idling engine defrosts the windshield, heats the interior.

I go back inside REM Ohio’s socialization center, a fancy name for a place in Elyria, Ohio, that houses a day program for about a dozen and a half adults with developmental disabilities.

I’ll leave in a few minutes to pick up five people at their homes. On certain days, I’ll pick up a sixth person; not all of them attend the day program every day. Four of them live with their parents; the other two live in group homes operated by REM Ohio.

One is wheelchair-bound. I operate the lift at the rear of the van, then strap him in tight before heading to the next person’s residence.

Once we arrive at the day center, other staff and I unload them. Several are non-verbal; a couple of them need assistance to walk. I lower the wheelchair to the ground, and wheel him inside. Another driver also brings a bus full of individuals, one or two of them also in a wheelchair, and we repeat the process with his passengers.

If the center is short-staffed on a certain day, I’ll stay all day and assist with the daily routine, which frequently includes an outing of some kind – bowling, the library, a field trip to a museum in Cleveland. In the summer, I’m told, there are frequent visits to area parks.

When mid-afternoon rolls around, we’ll load the five individuals on the van again, and I’ll drive them to their homes.

In my new job as a driver for REM Ohio, which I started a month ago, I’m no longer in an office – although there is a lot of paperwork involved. I work directly with people. I am one of six staff – three DSPs, as they are called, two drivers and the program coordinator – who spend time with 18 or so individuals at the day center. Over time, I’ll get to know all of them well, I’m sure, and hopefully they will get to know me.

After a 30-year career in newspapers, most of it as a copy editor, I’m trying something new. But I do have this type of serving in my background, as my wife reminded me. I befriended a blind student when we were at Michigan State University and we kept up the friendship for years, only recently losing touch. I also drove a couple of developmentally disabled adults to church occasionally in Saginaw, Mich., one of whom lived in a group home.

I played the job search game for 11 months, and I don’t feel I did it well. I had trouble projecting confidence in interviews. I was fired from my last job. I’m sure many potential employers had trouble with that too.

I don’t think I have the drive and outward passion that human resources professionals are looking for.

Perhaps I still haven’t recovered from the first time I was unemployed for 11 months. That situation was different, though.

In 2009, I got downsized from a copy editing job I held for 24 years. The newspaper was facing heavy financial struggles, and the stress level in the newsroom intensified. We knew our jobs would end eventually, but we weren’t sure how or when. The newsroom was a living hell for two years. Several co-workers abandoned ship, most for jobs in other careers. I was one of the first to sign the buyout papers, holding on at the newspaper until it shrunk from a seven-days-a-week daily to publishing only three days each week.

The bitterness from that experience lasted a long time. In some ways, I still haven’t gotten over it.

The second time, I didn’t see it coming. One year ago today (it was Feb. 10, but it was a Tuesday), I was called into the editor’s office and terminated. Clean your desk right now. We’ll escort you out the door.

I let my wife down, I let myself down. At least, that’s how I felt.

I guess I’m just not up for the rat race any more. With good advice, I wrote a strong resume, I networked, I interviewed, I waited, I interviewed some more, I prayed and asked friends to pray, I continued networking, I sent out more resumes – and one finally clicked. Eventually.

I applied for the REM Ohio driver position in September, had an interview in October, a second interview in November, followed by fingerprinting and drug tests, then didn’t hear anything for a month. On Jan. 4, I was offered the job. I trained for a couple of weeks and began driving unsupervised on Feb. 1.

A friend told me last week that I’m a Mercedes doing a Chevrolet job, meaning that I’m vastly overqualified. I told him I don’t look at it that way. I’m working directly with people now. I’m not making the salary I was seven years ago, certainly, but that’s not critical to me.

I look forward to going to work in the morning. That’s what matters. And hopefully making a difference in the lives of the people I interact with every day.

Last fall, when I had lots of time on my hands, I started writing this blog. I’ll keep up with it. My 30-year journalism career will live on here. Instead of writing for a newspaper, which publishes only what the editor approves, I’m writing for myself. I am my own editor now.

I understand self-discipline. I’ll write professionally. I’m disappointed with most of what I read on Facebook. Most of it is either not believable or terribly one-sided. That’s why I edited each presidential candidate’s issues statements lifted from his or her own campaign website – all 15 of them (12 Republicans and three Democrats).

https://wordpress.com/post/billcornishwordpresscom.wordpress.com/180

I also was invited to write for a Christian blog, so I’ll enjoy that too. I’ll try to keep those practical. I’m not into theological debates.

My newspaper career is most likely over. It’s time for me to move on. Time to get creative. To try new things. At work and at home.