Just around the bend lies 2014. For many of us, 2013 came and went entirely too quickly. For others, it could not come to an end soon enough. It's all a matter of perspective, of course.
Today's front page includes a local overview of the year that is about to close out. Readers will no doubt find what they perceive to be gaps in the overview and wonder why this or that was not included. There is no way to fully review all that transpired in a year's time, at least, that is, not without consuming just about every page of today's edition. Even at that, just as whether the year seemed to have passed quickly or crawled its way through the calendar's pages, whether an enumeration of the year that was is proper and fitting is also a matter of perspective.
What the majority of us might agree on, however, is 2013 was pocked by so much that makes us question whether mankind has truly made significant strides forward or is retreating. Incidents of violence and crime especially make hearts heavy with grief about our treatment of fellow human beings. Have we not progressed more as a species? Seemingly not.
Crime, killing, graft, corruption, abuse, mistreatment. These, and much more, have been with us since the beginning of time, really, and show no signs of disappearing. The year that comes to a close in the Lakelands is not really all that different from the years other communities will reflect upon. Yes, our community was rocked by a series of senseless killings within a short span of time. But we are not alone in that regard. Corruption among elected and appointed officials? They go hand in hand in the Lakelands, in Columbia, in Washington, around the globe.
So, as we all look ahead and get ready to turn the page on a calendar in welcoming a brand new year a couple of things come to mind that we can all do, that we all should do.

For one, let's not lose sight of the fact that, in the midst of all the bad news we encounter, those items that make us shake our heads in disgust with our own human race, there are indeed many, many incidents of goodness, kindness and mercy that take place daily in our community. We have caring individuals, nonprofit groups, churches and organizations that do strive to make the community better one person at a time.
Next, let's approach 2014 with a resolve to be as much a part of that effort as we can be. We'll still read and hear about tragic tales, senseless killings and the like, but rather than shake our heads and wonder why someone isn't doing something to make a difference, we can all vow to do precisely that in whatever capacity we possess.
Evil might not be eradicated from this world, but we can certainly make a difference in our community — in 2014 and beyond.