Thursday, July 2, 2009

From TV to Tonga

Larry Handley
WCPO- TV, Cincinnati, Ohio
July 2, 2009
It was a beautiful March day in 1989 when I arrived at TV20 in Gainesville, Florida (at my own expense) to interview for a weather anchor position that I heard was open at that station. Steve Hunsicker, the station’s news director, greeted me warmly and proceeded to politely listen to me blather on about why someone with no credentials or real weather experience should be given a chance. For reasons I still can’t explain, he hired me and the rest, as they say, is history. Despite his apparent lack of sound judgment some 20 years ago, his recent decisions are much more impressive.

About a year and a half ago, Steve resigned his position as a big-time television group executive to join the Peace Corps. He left his nice home in South Florida, his powerful and high-paying job and all the comforts of America to help businesses in the Kingdom of Tonga succeed. His blog is a favorite bookmark on my computer, and I always look forward to his newest entry. I must admit that I’m living vicariously through his adventures on the other side of the world. He tells tales of beautiful geography, people and traditions. He shares adventures that could only be experienced in that setting. He had to learn a new language in just a few months, and he lives on nearly nothing. He chose to do all of this in his upper 40s, and he seems genuinely happy and content.

His two-year commitment to the Peace Corps ends later this year, and he has no idea what he will do when it’s over. However, he seems totally unconcerned and relaxed. I believe that’s the way it works. The more you give of yourself—freely and honestly—the less you worry. Maybe helping to solve other people’s problems and making their lives better increases your own faith that things will work out. Thanks to Steve, things worked out for me 20 years ago when I was desperate for a job like they are working out now for the people of Tonga. And there’s no doubt in my mind that things will work out for Steve as he transitions back to life in America.

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