It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since I ended my column, “Mind Your Manners” in the South Bergenite. The column, which ran for about nine years, was widely read and enjoyed by many in the South Bergen area. I would like to thank all of the readers who either e-mailed or reached out to me to ask why it had ended. The answer is simple and two-fold. In one way, I felt I needed a break. But, the real reason was that the South Bergenite’s long-time Editor, Jaimie Julia Winters, who had originally encouraged me to write the column, was no longer with the paper. The South Bergenite is owned by The Record (NorthJersey.com). After Gannett bought The Record, it seemed to lose its smaller, family-oriented and local appeal. Many long-standing, well-known columnists, writers and editors either left, retired or were let go as a result of typical corporate downsizing and restructuring.
I could have continued to submit the column, inasmuch as I received no compensation for them. But, in solidarity with those whom I worked and respected for many years, I decided to pull the plug. I also knew that after I focused my time on the projects on which I was working, I would move the column online to where it is now. Moving it online would mean that it would be available to a larger, global audience, while still being available to those who read it locally.
In this new format, I will be making a few changes. For one, the name will no longer be “Mind Your Manners”. That title was created by the Bergenite. Ultimately, it had gone far beyond the topic of manners and became more of a social commentary on the things I observe about everyday life. Among other differences will be length. As with all newspapers, space is limited. I had to keep the column within 600 words, give or take. And while I think brevity is better, I can, if need be, expand my ideas a bit further.
One thing I will attempt to keep is the spirit and feeling which arose from those columns. I do not generally plan on what I write. It generally comes through a sort of stream-of-consciousness based upon whatever I am noticing or experiencing that day or week. When all is said and done, my goal is still the same; to offer thought-provoking insights which perhaps help readers see things through a different perspective.
If you enjoyed my old column, you can still read some of them in the archive section on this site. As of the time of writing, I have chosen nine which are uploaded. However, I will be adding more of them as I get to them. Also, if you enjoy my new blog entries, you can now share them with others on social media, as well as leave a question or comment.
I would again like to thank all of you who faithfully read “Mind Your Manners” and look forward to sharing new, inspiring and educational content for your enjoyment. As always, my philosophy is the same: Through our self-awareness, we can improve how we think, what we think as well as “how” we think. And, when our goal is to cause our words, deeds and actions to reflect kindness, love and peace toward others, we create the heavenly experience we all seek as human beings.
Stay tuned! Don’t forget to visit my “Archives”. And please share this article or column with your friends on social media!