What have we learned?

December 28, 2012 

Recent events around the country certainly have forced us to elevate the conversation on guns, God and many other topics.

It also allows us to ask ourselves a question that we should do more often: What have we learned?

In 2012, the lessons are innumerable.

We’ve learned we need to hold our kids, grandkids and loved ones a little tighter over the holidays.

Certainly the events in Connecticut and other tragedies closer to Lee’s Summit and Cass County involving kids have taught us that.

We’ve learned to never lose sight of what is important – our future, our kids and their well being. That we are responsible to bring them up, teach them right, show them positive path and give them the resources and encouragement to fulfill their dreams.

In 2012, we’ve also learned that local government needs a steady watchdog – and that is another role of ours.

In Cass County, the commissioners had a rocky year – financially, legally and in many other ways.

In Lee’s Summit, we’ve seen, time and again, our city council take the longest and most agonizing path to a solution, sometimes with little leadership guiding the vessel.

Some council members would argue that “we” are missing the bigger, political picture when they play these games.

I contend this is all inside baseball and no one cares about the inside bickering and immature antics.

Both Lee’s Summit and Cass County have earned, in the past, positive marks for forward thinking and planning. People talk about learning from past failures, but I say let’s learn from our past successes.

This year taught us that Mother Nature truly is in charge as we suffered through an oppressive summer of heat and a year-long drought.

In 2012, we learned that we have a lot of good homegrown talent to be proud of, athletes like Olympian Matt Tegenkamp (of Lee’s Summit) and Cass County’s own Tate Stevens, the recent winner of the X Factor and a $5 million recording contract.

This year, we sent a lot of incumbents back into local, statewide and national offices, and then we acted surprised when we didn’t see results. That’s a lesson we surely should have learned by now.

Yes, 2012 was a good tutorial for all of us on a myriad of topics.

Let’s hope we take that knowledge into 2013 and turn it into action for our communities.

John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Cass County Democrat Missourian and the Lee’s Summit Journal. To comment, call 816-380-3228 or email jbeaudoin@demo-mo.com.

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