Column – Learning from each other is the reason I write

Published 5:35 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2022

If I have counted correctly, this is my 200th column in the Suffolk News-Herald. We’ve been through a lot together, and I’m hoping that you’ll join me as I reminisce for a moment about some of the things that I’ve had the honor of sharing over the years.

I chose to share for the first time publicly about my battle with depression in a series of columns published in 2018 and have written several additional columns on that topic as I continue to learn from my battle.

I’ve written about my singleness and discussed a topic that I’ve seen little written about over the years: Men who would like a family but who cannot or will not ever hold the title of father. Yes, my friends, we’ve hit on some serious topics.

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You walked with me during a period of grief as I shared what I learned during that time. I wrote about what helped me and how I tried to help the children mourning with me. Those columns still bring tears to my eyes, but I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to share the journey with each of you.

We’ve also had some laughs as I have had the opportunity to share many stories of the fun and interesting times that I’ve had working with and mentoring children. We have gone through the good times, the bad times, and the regular times together.

Some may wonder why I’ve allowed my life to become such an open book. Why do I share so many personal details in such a public forum? I share because I’ve learned that we need each other and can learn from the things other people have gone through. I always try to make everything I write entertaining, but my main goal is to leave everyone who reads my words with additional knowledge or something to consider.

You don’t have to be a columnist to share what you have learned. Everyone has the opportunity to share the lessons they have learned with others. Whether it’s offering advice to someone going through something similar to what you have experienced or sharing with children in your circle of influence, helping others learn what you know shouldn’t be restricted to those who appear in the paper.

We can all encourage others who may be going through a difficult time by listening to them, sharing our stories, telling them what helped or hurt us, and what we learned along the way.

At the very least, we should use our experiences to help those younger than us learn from what we have gone through. A quick story about what we have learned may help others who are entering an experience similar to ours.

You may not wish to share as many details as I have or put it out in a public forum, but it is important to share with those around you. We can all learn from each other.

We’ve been through a lot together, and I’m honored that many of you have come along with me throughout the years. I hope that you’ll continue to read and enjoy what I share and that we will continue to learn from each other.