• 79°

Thanks for letting me ramble, meander

To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles …”

These lines, as any high school student should know, are the opening of the famous soliloquy in William Shakespeare’s play, “Hamlet.”

I think about these lines sometimes when I review the events of the day in my mind. I guess it’s just the actions of an aging person wondering if he’s still able to make it in a world that’s changed over the years, and how those changes have affected him.

I became a journalist, or reporter, or writer, or whatever you want to call it, because growing up I had too many interests to settle on just one.

Contrary to what some psychologists might claim, pumping my ego by seeing my name in print was never a reason for doing it. I got into the business because I decided I’d rather record history as it happened rather than read about it years later.

There were times in my younger years when I doubted my ability to perform my tasks, and was so worried about not pleasing an editor or supervisor that I lost sleep and had anxiety attacks. Those days are gone.

As I said, I’m older. I also hope I’m a little wiser and have learned not to get upset or take criticism personally. I decided long ago that my primary purpose was to inform the readers and make sure I was satisfied with my work. Have I informed people? I hope so. Have I been satisfied with my work? Not always, but I keep trying to improve, and sometimes I’m successful.

I’ve also tried in columns to comment on little items of life that I see daily, whether it involves my family or just the actions of everyday people and occurrences I see as I go about my duties.  I’ve also commented on the political scene to the consternation of some and the amusement of others.

As for those who criticize me for stands I’ve taken, go ahead, folks, after 40 years in this business, I’ve stopped being personally offended by what someone says about me. As long as I keep myself and my employers happy, I’m fine with that.

Doing this job has never been easy; there is always someone who will second guess you and try to take you down a notch, and there are those who will constantly criticize even when they have no idea what they’re talking about, but I can say, even at the risk of repeating myself, such criticism now rolls off my back. This old tiger may be feeling his age, but he’s still able to take it and move on.

Now if this sounds like I’m announcing my retirement, sorry, I’m not ready to hang it up, folks.

And I thank you for letting me ramble and meander a bit.

John Surratt is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at john.surratt@vicksburgpost.com.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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