The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

A few last words before I leave you, friends


August 26, 2018

This is my 441st and final column for The Eastern New Mexico News.

I have moved and am stepping aside as a “local columnist” to repurpose my keyboard for other endeavors. The first is a parody of “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” I’m calling “Jonathan Livingston the Gullible.”

Although some readers have told me where I’m going to spend eternity, most have been supportive. Whether they showered me with bricks or bouquets, my sincere thank you to all.

Now, some final thoughts:

Although I was grateful for my media relations career at Eastern New Mexico University, public relations was never my dream. Friends I made on- and off-campus were the best part.

Working in academia always seemed a bit privileged. This column felt more true to my authentic self.

Universities should be a safe haven for free speech. Censoring any viewpoints — short of advocating criminal behavior — is antithetical to their mission.

College is not for everyone. Those with aptitudes for trades are better off with on-the-job or vocational training (and avoiding student loans).

If I didn’t hate manual labor so much, I would have been better off financially pursuing a trade — such as my teenage ones bootlegging and growing medicinal crops.

If an academic degree is essential to your dream, then by all means attend college.

I didn’t vote for Donald Trump, but would in 2020 — for $20 million. I’d use the ill-gotten windfall to pay off friends’ student loans, entice Melania to write a tell-all boudoir book, establish a Universalist church on the High Plains, bribe an IRS agent to release bad spellers’ tax returns and build homeless shelters on the beach.

Those who hated Obama because he was not “sincere” in his faith (he probably was agnostic) should admit their hypocrisy. Trump claims the same faith but gets a pass because of his skin color and political affiliation. Obama would have been crucified then impeached for the same words, actions and personal transgressions.

Love for mankind is a joke when it excludes races, nationalities, sexualities, religions (or non-religion), ethnicities, immigrants, etc. It’s all just another brick in the wall of ignorance and intolerance.

Pro-lifers should consider all life sacred — immigrants, the emaciated in third-world countries, those maimed by American bombs...

Parents shouldn’t induce guilt or false security in children by spoon-feeding them man-created doctrines about supernatural forces protecting or punishing them before they can investigate for themselves.

Is destiny short-circuited when someone is murdered or killed in an accident?

Initiating personal attacks gives targets the right to respond assertively.

Don’t form initial impressions on superficialities; consider others’ entire life experiences. At their core, almost everyone is good.

If someone approaches you first, appreciate their risk-taking and remember it takes time to appreciate others’ depth.

You may be an unknowing lifeline for someone. Never take that lightly nor think anyone lesser than you.

Before retaliating against those who lash out, crawl a few miles through their obstacle course.

When preachers rail against sin, I wonder how many sinners are simply trying to fill a void caused by not lucking into the nurture/genetic jackpot in life’s lottery.

Those struggling just to survive without breaking the law or hurting others impress me more than those praised for reaping the benefit of advantages while humble-bragging about helping those without.

If your ego won’t fit in a thimble, puncture it with a self-deflating needle.

Give to beggars without judgment; be constructively compassionate to those in physical and emotional pain; stand up for those ganged-up on for defending facts; praise those used to condemnation; accept those accustomed to rejection.

Taking a knee to encourage the country to live up to its ideas can be braver and more patriotic than knee-jerk flag-waving.

I am mostly introverted — more fulfilled behind a keyboard than in front of people where the outward self is more valued than the inner.

The Sloan character who wears crazy socks, shoes, shorts and tropical shirts to work and play is a persona. After asking myself how I’d react to someone else wearing such outfits, my alter-ego says, “Go for it.”

Friends have admitted they wish they could/would dress that way.

As long as one takes care of business, people appreciate non-conformists who do and say what they are afraid to.

Besides, who decided an uncomfortable, conformist wardrobe is more appropriate than fun, comfortable clothing?

Life is short. Be good at being you — not being a copycat.

You’ll probably be buried in a suit — so why live in one?

No matter what you wear, accessorize it with gentle humor, confident courage and genuine kindness.

Although this column — always spell-checked — sometimes made people sad, sometimes mad, it’s mostly been a giggle.

I hope you laughed with me.

Wendel Sloan’s “Kill a Moose for Jesus” book of essays can still be purchased from The News by calling 575-763-3431. Contact him at:


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