I’ve been reporting the news off- and-on for the last two decades now. One of my first big stories was about Professor Sami al-Arian in the City University of New York’s graduate newspaper The Advocate in 2003. I’ve covered stories that made national news like the Kai the Hitchhiker case and I’ve covered tiny stories that no one would have heard about, like the high school honor student “busted” with legal CBD products he was recommended by a doctor. I covered the story of a Ponzi ring in Houston connected to multiple murders a few years back.
These stories sometimes take a lot out of me. I truly aim to get justice for people, but you can’t win them all. Sometimes you can’t even win most of them. But maybe that’s not even always the point. I was thinking of how doctors can’t always save the patient but even in cases where it’s not feasible to enact a full recovery, there are things that can be done. For a journalist, it is a similar situation. I won’t always get a favorable result by shining light on some wrongs. That said, I hope that in some cases even where I wasn’t able to set things right that at least the parties who were done wrong gained some solace.
Sometimes we can’t get what we want or even what we deserve or are owed. In those cases, though, I hope there’s something gained at least from getting a chance to say their peace. In the case of terminal disease, sometimes the aim is just to make the patient as comfortable and relaxed as possible. I hope that being given the chance to be heard, and know someone does genuinely care about their feelings and what they’re going through, helps. I am a firm believer that it still does some good just to be heard, seen and validated.
It may seem like an odd segue, but bear with me a moment. Of course, terminal diseases like cancer or emphysema are frightening and traumatic, but moving can be as well. And I’m not just talking about the run-of-the-mill moving to a new city, upgrading to a new apartment, buying a home kind of move. Not all life changes are planned and sometimes divorce, death, legal complications or other factors can complicate the simple act of gathering, packing and moving one’s belongings. A family member was faced with such an unexpected and forced move and I want to thank McMinnville Moving and Storage for their amazing bedside manner in making a difficult situation a bit better.
Thinking about that made me realize that sometimes it doesn’t matter what field you are in, there are ways you can make the world a little better. ER doctors, EMTs, law enforcement and other professions end up saving lives on a regular basis, but whether you are a cashier or greeter, there are ways you can improve the lives of those around you.
Standard reporter Philip Fairbanks can be reached at (931) 473-2191.