Every year I like to write an entry and try to impart some words of wisdom to the Class of 2018 as they embark on the next part of the journey we know as life. So here goes
Maybe you may have seen me at your school in the press box at the football field or court side in the gym with a head set on broadcasting your football or basketball games over the radio. Some of you also have made the effort to say hello to me before or after a game and introduce yourself. I appreciate that believe me. Things have changed dramatically since I graduated high school 34 years ago. There have been many positive as well as negative changes. We live now in a time where volatility and anger seems to be the norm. Who is to blame? I can’t answer that one for you. You’ll have to find that out for yourself and make your own judgement. Freedom of speech is not just something written in the Bill of rights of our Constitution. It is a privilege and a responsibility not to be taken lightly. We have forgotten that. We are constantly being bombarded by it in newspapers, radio, television and on social media sites. For 30 years I have made a career out of talking on the radio. I have multiple forums whether it is my on air shift in the afternoon, calling a game on the radio and this blog to speak my mind. I have said things that have offended listeners. We all do in radio. It goes with the job description, trust me. If we are to ever make true progress in understanding our differences we need to practice responsible speech. There have been many times that I have wanted to use my forums and just rant and vent my anger in a fit of rage that could scare the Incredible Hulk. But in doing so, consequences often come out of it. Think of all those celebrities who have made that mistake. That could be you or I some day if we say or write the wrong thing. Social media has enabled us to hide behind pen names and aliases and vent with not a hint of remorse and it has created a cyber mob mentality with torches, axes and pitch forks. Don’t go down that road. With responsible speech, comes something called responsible listening. We live in a sound bite world. Often times we don’t get the full context of what was actually said. When responsible speech and responsible listening come together, it can bring about responsible dialogue and when that happens sometimes progress is made. Need proof? The recent meeting between the our government and North Korea. We need to stop putting the blame on something or someone and work together to find the solution in a civil way. I want end by reminding you before you go off to college or what ever journey is next in your plans to take a moment to shut off the phone, tablet, and sit under a big tree with your friends on a sunny day and look up into sky and clouds and soak it in. Those moments become few and far between as you get older.