Let us meet the challenge in 2003 | TheUnion.com

Let us meet the challenge in 2003

We have embarked on a new year, and despite all the talk of resolutions, most of us do not really give much thought to what the future will bring. We usually agree with that old Doris Day song, “Que Sera Sera” (“What will be, will be . . . The future’s not ours to see.”) Or as Sherif Ali insisted to T. E. Lawrence in one of our favorite movies, “Lawrence of Arabia”: “It is written.”

Newspapers often discount the future, too. They lurch from deadline to deadline, looking at life “through the rear-view mirror,” as media theorist Marshall McLuhan once said.

Yet the dawn of 2003 is no time for us to be looking backward in Nevada County – at joys or pains from 2002. This next year and beyond will challenge and test us as a people, perhaps more so than most of us born since World War II can remember. Like Lawrence in his reply to Sherif Ali, we must believe that “nothing is written” – that we aren’t pawns of forces beyond our control, but can forge our own destiny if we use foresight, planning, and our common will to survive the coming tests.

And tested we will be by the convergence of many forces:

n A struggling economy and a projected California budget shortfall that could be greater than the gross national product of many entire countries. Thank goodness Nevada County currently has a surplus, because a “helping hand” from Sacramento is more likely to pull us into the abyss, not out of it.

n A clash with global terrorism and a looming war with Iraq (and perhaps other countries) that may claim some of Nevada County’s children and grandchildren. It’s a grim reminder that the Cold War may be over, but there is no place – even in the Sierra foothills – where violence cannot reach.

n Ideological and political differences over issues of growth that have divided us recently, and threaten to continue to do so unless our leaders can articulate a vision for the future, and then take us – all of us – along with them.

Let it be said that in 2003 Nevada County met the challenge.

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