Thursday, July 16, 2015

Did you miss the big news? Did you catch the latest breaking story?

One of my all-time favorite columnists, Russell Baker, won a Pulitzer Prize for his autobiography, "Growing Up," but he's best remembered for writing satirical commentary and self-critical prose for the New York Times. Twenty summers ago he wrote a particularly biting column I've never forgotten. It was his gut-wrenching epiphany after returning to work post-vacation. 

Even though Russell Baker was a professional news junkie, he went cold turkey for the duration of his vacation. He didn't touch a newspaper, listen to radio, watch TV, or go online for three full weeks. His first morning back at the office, Russell buried himself for two hours all the newspapers he hadn't had an opportunity read yet. His searingly honest conclusion? "Little of consequence really happens in three weeks."

Those are rather sobering words in this day and age of instant communications. If you stop and look critically at any number of national news sources, it's amazing how much of what's hyped as news is quite trivial. Much has almost nothing to do with real life.

Russell Baker retired years ago, but I've never forgotten his alarming revelation. It's why I often ask myself, "Is anything I'm doing of consequence?" Thankfully, I often answer in the affirmative, but that's because I'm in a leadership role that's a good fit for my life passion, which is showing the relevance of Jesus Christ in each major sphere of life (Athletics, Business, Church, Education, Literature, Music, Nonprofits, etc.). 

Of course, not every job offers such opportunities, which is why I've happily commuted 2.5 hours to/from work daily for the past four years. Then again, we're moving from Portland to Salem two weeks from Saturday. What will I do with 2.25 extra hours daily? Anything of consequence? I honestly don't know. The best I can say, at this point, is I hope so. I honestly hope so... 

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