A Lifetime Journey

Editorial – Sun Times 01-20-21

Fifty years ago I began my position as editor of this paper. Unlike many papers, I’ve always wanted our paper to have a common sense editorial focus. I’m proud to say that over the years I’ve angered both Democrats and Republicans. Please indulge me in reminiscing about my 50 years as an editor. This is a very personal editorial that reflects my lifetime journey.

Thirty years ago, we had new neighbors move in next door. The fact that they were African-American challenged my thinking about social justice. But it didn’t take long for our families to become close. Ten years ago when I had a stroke it was Isiah, the oldest son in the family, who saved my life. My views on racial justice have changed over my lifetime journey.

As many of you know, my son came close to ending his life a few years ago. Thank God, his life was spared. This event changed my life when I witnessed my son’s life partner as he cared for my son. I realized, in that moment, how bigoted I had been to the LBGTQ community. My son could not have asked for a better person with whom to share his life. I absolutely adore our grandchildren. We have been blessed that they were able to join our family as refugees from Africa and Southeast Asia.

I never expected to be a crusading journalist. But I’ve found that I can no longer tolerate the extreme ways of our political parties. We have lost all sense of what it means to be a responsible citizen. We can no longer tolerate the demonization of the opposition. Hatred, fear mongering, and outright deceitfulness have no place in selecting our leaders.

I’ve also become intolerant of silliness in public policy making. When did dealing with national problems become a zero-sum game? Compromise is not a four-letter word.

As I reflect on my 50-year career, I have a lot to be grateful for. My healthcare insurance has reduced my concerns as I’ve aged. My children and grandchildren have excellent experiences in public schools. Our community is still a welcoming place to live. I have come to value the diversity of my neighborhood. As a man of faith, I’m grateful for the supportive religions where we live. When I had my stroke, friends from a cross-section of the world’s religions were praying for me. That meant a lot for my recovery. I’ve become an advocate for these fundamentals of life. I’ve been blessed, but too many go without.

I’m proud of how I’ve grown as a human. I’ve viewed my life as a journey in human understanding. I’ve viewed change as an opportunity for personal growth and not something to fear and resist.

Thank you for reading this reflection on my lifetime journey. I hope your journey will be as rewarding.

Doug Maxon

Just imagine the life journey that all of us experience? How can we make it one of growth and enlightenment rather than one of withdrawal and resentment? Just imagine how acceptance can be one of the most fulfilling aspects of our lifetime journeys? Just imagine how we can share our lifetime journeys with each other so that they can value what they are experiencing rather than fearing it?

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“My whole journey of life is a journey of preparation…to see, to feel, to understand the beauty of what lies ahead, of the homeland towards which we walk. – Pope Francis

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