Words of Wisdom
Longer ago than it seems, I lost a very good friend and, in a rather casual manner, a mentor named Ron. Throughout his life, Ron had many jobs including multiple stints as a newspaper man. Towards the end, which came unexpectedly, he had just left a job as a managing editor in our small county paper that published twice a week.
As is customary when we lose someone, thoughts of times past became the topic of numerous conversations. Everyone had their Ron stories to share and we would laugh at the many sayings we would never hear him speak again. “Run to the roundhouse, Nelly; he can’t corner you there” and “Don’t call me sir” were the two everyone brought up. While these thoughts always bring a smile to my face, they aren’t the words of his that I have taken to heart.
Knowing how much I loved to write, Ron gave me a piece of advice to help me along the way. Then he gave it to me again…and again…and again. It wasn’t that he had forgotten he had already told me this, it was his way of making sure I learned something important.
The advice Ron gave me is universal in its application and easily extends to more than just writing. He told me that if you are going to write something and claim it’s the truth, make sure you can back it up with facts. No matter what you write, there is always going to be someone who knows more about the subject than you—and if you claim something to be the truth without knowing for sure, you will be called on it.
A little research now may prevent a lot of embarrassment later.
Just thought I would jot this down.