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Hu Pryor

What I have Learned? Hm...
by Hubert Pryor

Life Lessons, the subject of this anniversary issue of SoulfulLiving.com, probably challenges us more than any other subject could. We've lived X-number of years on this earth. If we cast a look over those years, what lessons have we learned, if any, and/or should we have learned?

Right off, I'd like to report I've learned from my mistakes--a pretty endless assortment of them. If I've learned anything, I'd like to say outright that I've learned not to repeat them. But I can't. Maybe a few, but far from all of them.

Most of the mistakes I've made and learned from, I guess, have been in everyday-living areas: what to eat and not to eat, to hold my tongue if at all possible, to stay out of the rain, etcetera. And there's a new one to learn from just about every day.

Then I must confess to errors of judgment about larger issues--in areas ranging from personal relations to deep philosophical attitudes. The one thing I've learned there has centered on the need to be straightforward, to have an open mind and to benefit from the counsel of a few wise people. And few things help more than to be honest about oneself and understanding. Which is probably best done in quiet moments of meditation, prayer or plain, simple. quiet contemplation. Just being in a place of natural beauty helps too.

OK, that's all in the line of confession--a most necessary procedure, however done. But what have I learned that, at least to me, has been meaningly positive? And what continues to be instructive, for the life process of learning never stops?

It happened that, as a child, I was driven to dream, to fancy, to contemplate, and to do so in words and, vividly but sketchily, in visual terms. Since my life career has been in editing, reporting and writing--in many forms of journalism--I have been blessed to earn a living that way.

Thus I have learned to follow my bent. And perhaps I can say I have been rewarded in doing so by feeling I have contributed in some fashion to human understanding.

But it has been a lesson learned bit by bit.

In only my later years, I've come to recognize that communicating, person to person, takes many forms. In writing, at first, my words nearly always took to print. I was a correspondent and cable editor for a so-called wire news service. A period followed when I as a reporter for a metropolitan newspaper.

Then I switched to writing newscasts for a world radio broadcasting network. The experience opened up new horizons in person-to-person communication. I was writing for the ear, not the reading eye. The work demanded a whole new fluency. And at the end of that period I got a brief chance not only to write for the ear but also to specify the visual instructions for live and recorded television. And for some of the time I was on camera in person--reading but pretending not to be.
And, yes, live interviewing.

This was in TV's earliest years, and the brief experience opened up a whole new world of communication to me. I say "brief" for it happened in an hour-long audition that resulted in the offer of doing a once-a-week newscast. Which I turned down. It was too draining for me to accept on top of a full-time job as a live radio correspondent.

Was there a lesson there? Yes, for me the lesson was clear: "Acknowledge what works for you and what doesn't."

It turned out that national magazines and the print media have given me the greatest satisfaction in my professional life. And now, in my later years, I relish communicating in plain, ordinary book print and in newspaper columns. No day-in-and-day-out deadlines.

Oh, yes, of course there's this wondrous world of the Web, where you flip me on--as you wish and as you're doing now. What a life lesson for me to enjoy!

Greetings, friend, wherever you are.

©Copyright 2006 Hubert Pryor. All Rights Reserved.

Hubert Pryor
Hubert Pryor
is a retired editor of national magazines--Modern Maturity and Science Digest among others--Hubert Pryor is the author of SOUL TALK: Positive Mind Treatments to Turn Your Life Around (available through DeVorss & Co., 553 Constitution Ave., Camarillo, CA 93012, 800-843-5743, www.devorss.com) and a forthcoming book, SERENITY 101: Spiritual Wisdom, Ancient and Modern, for Peace of Mind Today.


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