Ode to offense, defense & my Appeal exit

A 13th century Persian poet called Rumi provided plenty of insight into living life on offense without neglecting defense.

Let’s start here with offense. Below, we’ll return to defense.

“Run from what’s comfortable,” said Rumi, 1207 to 1273 A.D. Though he also was a jurist, scholar and Sufi mystic, Rumi now is viewed as one of the world’s most renowned poets and thinkers.

“Forget safety,” he counseled. “Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”

Those words preface this morning’s personal and professional news from your scrivener: I will leave the Nevada Appeal early in 2016.

It’s time. But there are no sour grapes here. Thanks go to Mark Raymond, Appeal publisher, Adam Trumble, editor, and other colleagues at the newspaper, Sierra Nevada Media Group and Swift Communications.

It’s difficult to leave with Trumble at the editorial helm. He’s one of the finest editors and colleagues with whom I’ve enjoyed working in the news business.

This isn’t a retirement announcement. You can be certain my rubber will meet the road again right here in Carson City.

But I’ll still be at the Appeal into January, and likely will write more columns that include thanks for this opportunity over more than three years to come into your lives, share information and offer a few musings.

Right now let me thank readers, favorites of mine. Reading another person’s reporting and insights requires a communications bond involving people banded together by a community of interests. So thank you, dear reader.

Thanks also go to varied sources practicing patience as I prodded for information. Some even had to put up with my foibles and an occasional glitch or misunderstanding.

Communication is at times a chaotic crapshoot. Language often is an unforgiving tool, particularly when it’s mistreated, and we all manage that now and again.

Sharing insights is what we strive for, however, and sometimes we reach such hallowed ground. You, dear reader, and my many sources, were most gracious in both of those partnerships.

Allow me to single out for thanks Mayor Robert Crowell who, almost without fail, calls me the First Amendment. No doubt it’s his way of acknowledging a cornerstone of our democratic Republic, not just me. He knows said First Amendment is one way our founding folks built a non-government check and balance into the system.

My moving on will end that banter between us. So before I move out from under the First Amendment umbrella, I’ll use it to say I wish he weren’t seeking a third term. It’s nothing against the mayor, who’s a gentleman.

It’s just my conviction in a citizen government to question the value of third terms. In the end, however, voters decide so it’s his and their call.

Now let’s share insights on defense available for anyone contemplating life. We’ll use words left us by ruminations of Rumi eight centuries ago.

“Don’t move the way fear makes you move,” he urged. “The art of knowing is knowing what to ignore.”

John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at jbarrette@nevadaappeal.com.


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