Missing the ‘Praise and Damnation’ of old

I dug up an old blog post that I thought I’d share once again.

It speaks to some of the give and take I used to engage in while working as editor of editorial pages in three locations: one in Oregon and two in Texas.

I carried a file around with me for more than three decades. I called it my “Praise and Damnation” file. It contained feedback from readers who either agreed or disagreed with what I wrote, either under my own name or on behalf of the editorial board of which I was a member.

This particular blog post from the past highlights a response to an editorial I wrote about Haiti, a country that’s been in news of late, courtesy of the president’s description of the island nation as a “sh**hole country.”

Damnation to the max

I discarded the file not too many years ago. I don’t regret doing so. The file took up space in my filing cabinet at home and, quite frankly, it reminded me of the unpleasantness associated with the end of my print journalism career.

This blog post from 2010, though, does remind me of how readers managed to keep me humble. I rarely took personal offense at those who disagreed with whatever I wrote. Yes, there were exceptions. Occasionally someone would question my patriotism, my parentage or even my religious faith. As a God-fearing U.S. Army veteran born to parents who were married legally to each other, well, I kind of took offense to some people’s more personal attacks.

But what the heck. It all went with the territory.

I am still able to maintain a sense of humility through this blog. I get my share of criticism to go along with the affirmation.

Believe it or not, I do appreciate thoughtful critics nearly as much as I appreciate those who cheer me on.

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