Archive for Monday, December 30, 2013

Hoping for a better year in 2014

December 30, 2013

Last week during a casual conversation, a friend asked me about my view on what might take place during the coming year. Being a natural optimist, I enthusiastically answered that it was going to be a great 12 months, with lots of progress and growth.

That didn’t satisfy him, and since he was a bit of a negative person, he challenged me to be specific about the good and bad of the coming year. My first answer is that, in my opinion, every year is better than the one before. No matter how tough things are, we always survive and become stronger. I have said this many times before, but I don’t believe in the “good old days.” Now is the best of times despite a myriad of challenges.

But to be specific, 2014 is an election year, which is both good and bad. The good is that we are free to go to the polls and select leaders for our state and nation. The bad news is that starting very soon the airways will be polluted with political advertising. That might be beneficial if we got a true picture of the candidate, but we don’t. Far too many commercials are nothing but negative and in some cases slandering the opposition. I believe that this year will be worse than 2012 or 2010. I really don’t expect much from Topeka or Washington, D.C., except for more partisan bickering. That is my negative prediction for the year.

On the exciting side, I look forward to continued slow, but steady growth for Bonner Springs, Edwardsville and Basehor. While everyone would like to see a huge building boom, that isn’t going to happen. Steady progress is manageable and doesn’t stress city or school district services. As an aside, don’t be surprised to see a large portion of population growth in the next decade to be persons over 65. This will be true throughout the metropolitan region.

I’m looking forward to great professional sports during 2014. We all know about the improvement of the Kansas City Chiefs and how exciting they made Sundays this fall. I know there are those who will laugh at this, but I believe that this is the year the Kansas City Royals will make it back to the play-offs. The Royals were fun to watch last year, and I think they will be even better and cause us to have divided loyalties between football and baseball in September.

Of course, Sporting Kansas City is already a championship team and will continue to be a major contender. The year will bring additional interest in soccer with the World Cup.

While I’m not a big fan, the Winter Olympics will occupy a lot of evenings for fans this winter. No, I haven’t forgotten KU, Wichita State or K-State basketball, and there is nothing more exciting than a deep run during March Madness.

I really hope that we have average weather this year. During the past few years we have had too many extremes. We’ve had a searing summer in 2012 and a never-ending winter in 2013 with snow in May. In addition, the world has suffered too many storm tragedies ranging from tornados to typhoons. What would really be nice is a plain old average weather year with just enough rain to keep grass, gardens and crops growing. In terms of weather, there is nothing wrong with average.

I know this probably is a dream, but I would like to believe that we will be less judgmental and more tolerant of others. Maybe we could even listen to differing opinions without angry arguments. If we could, it would be a much happier and more wonderful world.

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