Archive for Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A better year in 2013?

December 26, 2012

If there was ever a time when we needed a new year it is now. No matter how you view it, 2012 was a bummer. But looking at some of the happenings during the past 12 months, I believe that there are lessons to be learned.

Of course, there are some areas we can’t change. The past year was a tough one when it came to weather and there surely were many weather related disasters, with Hurricane Sandy probably being the worst. But, beyond that there were many natural disasters and certainly our area wasn’t spared with a year-long drought and an exceptionally hot year. I really never thought I’d say it, but I missed snow last year. I suspect that I might be sorry for saying that as we may end up in a winter storm cycle.

Actually, I’ve almost forgot what it was like to have a heavy rain. I think the only bad weather we had this fall was on Friday nights – during high school football games. Really, I’d just like to see a year with enough rain to sustain crops and keep lawns green.

In times of natural disaster, the American people showed their greatness. While victims struggled to rebuild their lives, countless millions of Americans contributed financial and other aid. Certainly, this is a measure of how truly wonderful Americans are because they really are compassionate and caring.

Even in the area of athletics, 2012 wasn’t all that great. The Chiefs – well the less said the better! KU basketball and K-State football gave us some thrill, but sadly both ended up a game short of their ultimate goal. I’m always an optimist. In my opinion I think the Royals will be a contender next season.

As is always the case, there is a lot of doom and gloom during national election years. If you think about it, we were bombarded with so much negativity that it is no wonder the year was gloomy. It was a tough election this year and it left little or no ground for calm discussion. What is really sad is that in several states there were folks that refused to accept the outcome and there were petitions calling for states to leave the union. Apparently they didn’t learn that the majority rules when it comes to elections and we are a nation of laws. We accept the outcome of an election even though we don’t agree with the winner. We know as Americans that another election will come around and we’ll get another chance.

Of course, the economy is a real concern. While things are better than in 2011, there remains a long way to go. I’m really hoping that common sense will prevail and congress and the President will avert that so-called fiscal cliff and we can continue the road back to prosperity. We have to remember that the economy follows a cycle and I believe we are headed for an up cycle and will see high employment and economic prosperity.

What amazes me is the number of people who are always looking at the dark side of issues. I was surprised at how many people were concerned about the Mayan calendar and the supposed end of the world. Now I have toured Mayan ruins and their architecture is amazing, but so is Stonehenge in England and other ancient ruins. I find it hard to believe that so many people would accept the prediction particularly when so many experts debunked it.

Maybe the belief in the Mayan prediction is just an example of the lack of optimism some people have. Even though I am more than three-fourths of a century old, I believe in the future. I believe I have a good future ahead and I think that this city, state and nation have a bright future if we only grasp opportunities with enthusiasm. Someone once told me that we shouldn’t look at problems as disasters. We should look at them as opportunities for change and improvement.

By the way, we need to stop believing in rumors which quite often have no basis in fact. You might disagree, but I believe the media is far more fair and truthful than some would have you believe.

Yes, many of the challenges that we face have been caused by our rigid attitudes. If there is one thing we need to learn it is to listen to other opinions and to consider alternatives. I believe that the most important protection provided by the Constitution is the freedom of speech and opinion. Let’s think for ourselves and look at the big picture.

Will we solve all our problems? Certainly not in one year, but we can take positive steps toward solutions and the first is to listen to all opinions even those that are different from our own.

Our wonderful country has faced challenges before and in every case, solved them. We can do this again if we work together and if we accept new thinking and ideas. Never forget that this is the greatest country ever in the history of the world and our best days are ahead.

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