August 2, 2016
And it's our loss
If you love words, you already know him.
Tobias Wolff, who taught Saunders in the graduate writing program at Syracuse in the 1980s has called him "...one of the luminous spots of our literature for the past 20 years."
It's what Wolff said of him next that I want to focus on though:
"He's such a generous spirit, you'd be embarrassed to behave in a small way around him."
That's what we're missing today, and not just in consolidated radio. We're missing it throughout society.
We're missing spirits so generous you'd be embarrassed to behave in a small way around them.
It has led to our political dysfunction, our personal greed and lack of contentment, our narcissism, our ability to justify decisions and behaviors that casually ruin the lives of those we know, and those we don't.
We hide behind our smartphones and our luxury cars and our gated communities, worried more about our declining 401Ks and facial wrinkles than those who have lost the very fabric by which our society defines human beings.
We are no longer ashamed to look away.
But we can change that, you and I. We can use the spotlight that shines on our shows and our Facebook pages, our Twitter feeds and our access to tens of thousands of ears and eyes.
We can choose to be generous of spirit publicly.
We can choose moral courage offstage with our owners and managers and friends.
Each time we are presented with the choice, we can choose to behave with compassion, to see what we would rather ignore, to speak up when our silence infers approval or acceptance of a reality we say we cannot change, when the truth is, we have surrendered to the difficult, not the impossible.
We -- you and I -- can be that person now missing from our office, our industry, our community, that spirit so generous anyone would be embarrassed to behave in a small way around them.