BoSacks Speaks Out: I Salute You
What an amazing few years we have just been through. Plague be damned, we have all had ups and downs, moments of great stress, and hopefully many moments of beauty and harmony.
Writer Hamilton Wright Mabie once said, "New Year's Eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights."
But even though "there is no pause in the march of the universe", this and every yearend brings us a chance to reflect. What did we get right this year? How many formerly impossible things did we actually figure out and do? What do we wish we could do again? And what do we see for ourselves moving into the next year until it's time for reflection yet again as sol returns to its starting place?
The Holiday season and the New Year is an opportunity to consider the events of the past year and to approach the year ahead with deliberate intent and personal choices. Some goals we keep, and others slowly evaporate away till next year.
It's hard to grapple with the idea that we are headed into Year 3 of the pandemic, with yet another surge in cases hitting our weary hospital systems and first responders. I'm hoping that the new variant will not lead to lockdowns again. Fortunately, we have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that we and the industry we work in, is resilient and creative in time of need.
In 2021, we continued to deal with an on-going pandemic, we developed new vaccines, swore in a new president and as a member of the media industry we charged forward with our mission to inform, entertain, and teach the reading public.
On January 7, 2021, I wrote the following:
"BoSacks Speaks Out: Friends, I want to take just a minute under these bizarre and horrible moments in U.S. history to applaud the fearless journalism that was on demonstration for the past 24 hours. We, the media, cover our stories wherever they take us – war zones, poverty zones, plague zones, small town halls, and today into the U.S. Capitol under siege. This is what we do. We teach, we entertain, and perhaps most importantly, we follow the news wherever it leads to inform our readers. Today like all days we see journalists running into the fray and the danger and not away from it. That is a noble tradition and a fearless one. I am proud to be a member of the journalism industry."
I salute you all. To those of us who survived, we are indeed stronger on so many levels. We have reinvented everything that could be analyzed and made more efficient. We learned that we could work remotely and still thrive. It also seems that we have proved that many of our large offices are quaint vestiges of the past and in many cases, irrelevant to a successful media product.
Perhaps one of the most important things we learned is that readers are willing to pay for quality journalism. I wonder what took us so long to make that conclusion?
We learned that the traditional methodologies and business plans that were in place were mostly a dream based on a previous interpretation of reality.
In March of 2020, I couldn't have predicted the speed and grace of the publishing communities' adaptions and redeployments almost overnight and on the fly. The time machine we entered two years ago accelerated whatever was happening before into new possibilities that under pre-covid processes would have taken years to develop.
Mark Twain said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
I am more bullish on the industry than ever before, as it clearly grows and morphs into something new at an on-going and accelerated rate. More people read, collect, and share distributed media information than ever before. There is more revenue being made in media beyond the wildest dreams of our publishing ancestors. So, "So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor."
In my professional life as a publisher, I have for over twenty-nine years expressed a yearend message of review, hope, and promise to my readers. I encourage you to "Explore. Dream. Discover."
History has proven that plagues like Covid come and then they go, that business downturns appear when least expected and retreat just the same, that the winter is cold only to be followed by the beauty and charm of a warm summer's day.
But the most enduring cycle throughout history is our love of family and friends. Love is more than a word; it is a shared transcendental experience. It imparts an equal measure of mutual vulnerability and great strength. Like superheroes, I believe that love is our secret power, and with it, we sustain ourselves with the love of family and friends.
The following message was first sent in 1513 A.D. It has become part of my traditional yearend expression of hope and reflection. I have been sharing this poem with my newsletter readership for three decades. Every time I read it, I come away with a little more understanding and hope. The plague has intensified my sense of the poem.
Like the author, I hope that your paths are clear of shadows and that you have the time and sensibilities to take a few moments to really stop and look around you.
Most of us work so hard that sometimes we forget the real reasons for our energetic pursuits. In the end, it is our ability to love and share that love that has any real long-lasting meaning.
That being said, I send you all a big safe hug and the hope that you are surrounded by love, family and continued friendship.
I wish you all peace, sensibility, and a joyous and healthy new year
I wish you joy and love at home and, at the very least, stability in the workplace. I send to you the additional hope that all is well wherever you may roam.
Best wishes and happy holidays to all.
Bob and Carol Sacks
I SALUTE YOU
There is nothing I can give which you
have not; but there is much that, while I
Can not give, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts
Find rest in it today.
No peace lies in the future, which is not somewhere hidden
in this present instant.
The sometime gloom of the world is but a shadow;
Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy.
And so, at this holiday time, I greet you,
With the prayer that for you, now and forever
The days break with peace,
and all shadows flee from your path.
A salutation written to a friend in 1513