Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Dear Reader

Dear Reader,
            This is my last column of the semester. This means most of you are too busy to read it, having higher priorities like studying for finals or writing papers. This is fine; I’m not offended. There is a time and place for everything.
            For those of you who do have a few spare minutes to spend with the Daily Lobo, I am glad that you are taking a breather. It is important to slow down from time to time. Still, I will be brief.
            Before I leave you for several weeks, I just want to take a moment to acknowledge you, whoever you are, reading this. It is an odd feeling, writing for  unknown readers. I never know whose eyes are scanning my words, how and where my thoughts land, whether you find them interesting, irrelevant, helpful or boring.
            Perhaps you are a student at the end of a long semester, or a staff person on a break. Maybe you are having coffee and a Frontier roll, or waiting for a bus, or putting off grading papers for a few more minutes. Possibly you just grabbed a newspaper to line your bird cage or pack up your belongings.
            When I was a child my mother read to me and my sisters from Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. Kipling wrote as if he was speaking, and he referred to his reader as “O’ my best beloved.” When I heard that, I always felt specially acknowledged. Writers write for their readers, after all, so thank you for reading.
            What I most want to say to you is that I hope you acknowledge yourself. Whoever you are, there is only one of you in this universe. You are the definition of unique. Nobody else has your experiences, your struggles and accomplishments, your exact take on the world. You have your own preferences, habits, quirks and your very own style.  Your strengths have saved you; your weaknesses have cost you. Life has hit you in the gut, one way or another, leaving you a little wiser and a little stronger each time.  You are a changing, growing human being, shaped by your changing, growing life.
            Between nature and nurture, the forces that mold us are endless and varied. It takes every single one of us to complete the complex, wondrous picture that is life on earth. I personally find it fascinating that there are no two of us alike anywhere, and I thank you for your contribution to the landscape.
            Have a good winter break.

The Authors of "50 Ways" Interview on KCHF TV

50 Ways to Leave Your 40s TV interview with Phoenix' Pat McMahon