• I guess because I work in the self-absorbed media industry, I'm often absorbed by stories about my colleagues. Colleagues whose fortunes rise and fall: in one minute, out the next.

    The guy who was all the buzz one day, getting buzzed the next.

    It's not as if I need to be reminded about the vagaries of life. But I think it's good that I am.

    Ratings go up and they go down. Careers soar, then suddenly, they do not.

    The one thing I've learned talking to bigwigs over a quarter century is that bigwigs change: Titans one year, tiny the next.

    I remember talking to a former high-ranking cabinet official who lamented the days everyone parsed his words and reporters chased his limousine.

    Then, out of power, out of the limelight and out of the limousine.

    It happens to the journalists who cover them too. The "it" questioners in one era are mere question marks the next.

    Nothing deep or profound here, but a reminder why I never take for granted what I have here.

    When my Dad was alive, he used to say, "Neil, stay humble. In your case, it'll come in handy."

    He got it then. I wonder how many do now.

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