Tom Henry

Newsroom Editor


2018: Year of change or more of the same?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” George Santayana.

“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind,” C.S. Lewis.

2018! Wow, it seems like just yesterday that some were partying like it was 1999 and others worried if the computers around the world were going to crash with the year 2000. We blinked our eyes and…bam, 2018!

2018 is going to be a very strategic year, full of possibilities and promise. The hard work and diligent prayers of many will finally begin to bring harvest this year because 2018 is truly a year of transition and change.

It is a year where those that perceive and enter small new doorways of opportunity will see great improvements in their lives next year. 2018 is a year that people can make bold decisions and break cycles of defeat in their lives.

Our lives are composed of all the experiences, decisions and relationships that we have lived and have made. We didn’t become what we are overnight and therefore total change won’t come in just one year.

But, change always requires doing something different. If we want something different, we must do something different and if we want a lot of change, we must do things a LOT differently. An extraordinary harvest requires extraordinary seed!

Likewise, 2018 is full of promise and we must plant extraordinary seeds of change, and then, like a farmer, protect our seed from those forces that would try to kill our harvest.

2018 will be a great, exciting, challenging year. I’m optimistic, but having vision requires a person to “see” both good and bad and only a fool says, don’t tell me the bad stuff. “Seeing” the bad in advance allows us to not be fooled, it allows us to prepare and to attempt to minimize its affect. To simply bury ones head in the sand because it’s “so negative” is childish, foolish and irresponsible.

Knowing our elected leaders as I do and doubting that they will do anything differently than they have in the past, it is with a heavy heart I make the following predictions for 2018 (so that I can prove that lack of leadership always brings predictable results):

— This will be an expensive year, as incumbents everywhere go shopping and make expensive promises (things that are pulled out every election, but forgotten otherwise), all while they (people that never include the private sector, always preferring big government and high taxes) also promise to cut spending (but don’t), in an effort to hold on to power.

— This will be a year void of any major decisions, as incumbents attempt to avoid doing their jobs or to offend voters through tough decisions.

— There will probably be no new information released regarding the ASP/FBI investigations of the Blytheville Waterworks/Gary Phillips or the Mississippi County Landfill; after all it’s an election year.

— We will see increasingly polarized campaigns as old, entrenched alliances appeal to our worst instincts, rather than plant the seeds of change and progress (beneficial to the community) because it threatens their power.

— There will be multiple retirements at the courthouse and attempts to self anoint their successors.

— There will be one (probably two) major multi-agency raids in an effort to fight crime. I didn’t say it was bad, but it is an election year.

— History suggests an increase in racist election year rhetoric, because for many of those involved in political campaigning, it’s the only arrow in their quiver.

— Hopefully I’m wrong, but I predict eight to ten homicides/murders and at least the same number of armed commercial robberies, because we aren’t really doing anything extraordinarily different.

— The choice for a new Blytheville Superintendent will become contentious this year as the two factions on the current board wrestle for control.

Meanwhile, as all the above occurs, babies will be born, the grass will grow and thousands of good people will simply keep out of trouble, pay their bills as best they can, teach their children right from wrong, go to work, pay their taxes, volunteer their time, go to church and love their families and community. Good people will continue to sow extraordinary seed and guard against blight on their harvest. Those heroes will have their prayers answered.

Those good people that intelligently go steady and use wisdom will perceive small doors of opportunity appear before them. For every door that they go through, great change will become theirs – but those that foolishly fall for the voices and methods of the past, will continue to live hopeless, changeless lives.

I’m excited about 2018 and I’m excited about Blytheville, because a new dawn is rising and light is exposing the mess. People are beginning to do things differently and I will also in 2018!