Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
The written word isn’t dead.
If I’ve learned anything during my three and a half years at UMHB, it’s that. James warned people in the New Testament about the tongue being a weapon, possessing both the power to wound and an equal power to heal.
Though James probably didn’t know what a journalist was, he knew that communication is vital.
He didn’t know what Twitter would be or what Yik Yak would become, but he knew that people could hurt each other through the things they say. He also knew that certain words can bring salvation.
The written word isn’t dead because humanity — the passionate, opinionated, adventurous and life changing people that make up this world — those humans and their stories aren’t dead. There are so many tales to be told. Thank you, UMHB, for allowing me to tell mine, and those of the amazing other people I met during my time here.
Working as editor-in-chief of this newspaper hasn’t been easy and at times, it wasn’t fun. I’ve been encouraged by readers who affirmed my drive, my commitment and my love for the written word. But I’ve also encountered critics who thought I made some really big mistakes, who called me out on my errors and who told me that I could do better. You’re both right.
Thank you, administration, for allowing me my freedom of speech and creative control. I value your constant support and loyal readership. Dr. Mynatt, Dr. Tabartlet and Mrs. Green: your wisdom is valued and your patience appreciated. Mrs. Kendig, your words and friendship have encouraged me that journalism is bigger than a snarky political opinion, well-written lead or entertaining review. Journalism is about people. You taught me how to use words effectively but never take life too seriously.
And thank you to my staff. Each of you contributes something entirely different to this publication, and each of you has taught me something about myself — the things I’m bad at, the things I’m good at and most of all, that this job is about relationships. Thank you for respecting me, listening to me and laughing with me when you weren’t laughing at me.
Thank you, UMHB, for allowing me to find myself both as a writer and as a person.
Thank you for teaching me that what I do and write matters.
Whether it’s one upsetting text message, a rude Facebook comment or an entire opinion article, the things you say can determine the course of someone else’s day.
The things you say have an effect on people. The things you say, whether in writing or word, affect how the world sees you — and that’s a powerful thing.