Friday, May 27, 2011

Hoping for light at end of tunnel

There have been some recent developments I find encouraging after nearly six months on the unemployment, although I’ve had one part-time digital reporting job at since January.

I have been particularly grateful for that one as it allowed me to work again with Mike Bailey, a great newsman and former managing editor of The Courier-News in Elgin, Ill., my hometown. I grew up reading The Courier, The Chicago Tribune, and for a while, the Chicago Daily News, which my Dad subscribed to until it folded in March 1978, nearly a year after I’d graduated high school.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Who’s got your back?

One of the things I read over and over again about finding work is that most people who land jobs do so because they network – they target a job and maneuver through the cyberworld to make contact with someone in that company to get an inside line on the position.

That’s all and well, but in many ways it seems so manipulative: See something you want, find a person who can help you get it, introduce yourself (or find someone to introduce you) so you can cultivate that relationship and ultimately get what you want.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Another rapture come and gone (and I feel fine)

There were no trumpet blasts, no sound of galloping horsemen, no cries of dismay one would expect if folks had up and disappeared at a moment’s notice on Saturday morning.

So 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Jerusalem time – Saturday, May 21, passed without event in Elgin, Ill. I can’t help but think that there were plenty of snickers – and of course there was plenty of evidence of that in Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Encouragement in tragic memory

Sometimes, over the years, you lose track of people. We all do it, some more so than others: Folks we once were close to vanish into our pasts, separated first by distance, later by time.

Then, suddenly, from seemingly out of nowhere, their memory erupts fresh into your mind again, and you pause to regret losing touch, to rue the loss of that fellowship and friendship that once seemed so close.

Perhaps, as has been the case with me in recent years, the regret at losing contact is a result of middle age, when some of us look back at what could have been but wasn’t and wonder if the decisions so confidently made so many years ago were indeed the right ones.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Trios of tragedy: Waiting for the final shoe to fall

There’s a saying in newsrooms that bad things come in threes.

Some insist the expression pertains only to celebrities, but many journalists will share anecdotes of trios of bad news events that share nothing in common except that the observer has linked them into a string of three because of one subjective element – “bad” news.

But let’s face it – one man’s trash is another’s treasure is a principle that can be applied to news. In point of fact, Osama bin Laden’s death certainly was greeted as good news in the United States.  But I am fairly certain he was not too fond of the idea at the time. After all, if dying a martyr is such a great and honored aspiration in Islam, why did he choose to use his wife as a shield before he was shot down? Seriously.

Regardless, this week, I am left wondering, when will the third hammer strike in the lives of my friends and family.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

God has a sense of humor

I have always been convinced God has a sense of humor.

I say that without any thought about diminishing His holiness, His greatness, His unchanging character or goodness.

I sometimes fear the reaction when I talk or write about my faith. I am not a perfect man and do not want to pass myself off that way. But I like to share when I have a good moment with Him, and this one had me laughing pretty good over the weekend.

The Bible says He created us in His image, which means He gave me a sense of humor – usually quirky and frequently in the form of awful puns – but a sense of humor nonetheless. So if He gave that to me, He must have a sense of humor himself (either that, or theologically I am treading on thin ice).

Sometimes, I think, He must be getting a good laugh from my antics, not to mention the harmless silliness in which we all engage from time to time, some more frequently than others do.