Editorial: Reflections and a time for learning

Dec. 27, 2012 @ 04:32 PM

The year is fast fading, a sunset nearing dusk with much left to contemplate in the aftermath.

The Tri-County area will leave this calendar year and enter a new one with grave questions surrounding our beloved Kerr Lake. The water level is low, the concerns about uranium mining in neighboring Virginia quite high.

We know the lessons and answers for the first are in Mother Nature’s hands. We believe rain will soon come, replenishing tributaries in the Roanoke River Basin. The latter is a different matter all together, with politicians, the environment and the economy all involved and viewed as stakeholders in the situation.

But we’ve seen this year that we can survive great challenges.

Our unemployment in January was 15.0. Next week Vance County finds out if it is better than the most recent report of 12.2.

Our public schools are still operating, though quite likely they’ll be with fewer children in the years to come. There’s no longer a cap on charter schools, more are coming to life in our area, and industries are yet to make Vance County a destination spot to grow the population. Most alarming and a bigger driver, however, is more than three out of 10 students don’t graduate.

We learned from our nation as well, mostly about honesty.

On the highly popular Facebook, the top image, video, phrase or idea on the site was TBH, short for “to be honest.” And much of the news during the year taught us just that when we continued to learn time after time of liars, cheats and frauds.

We’ll not attempt to list them all, but opinions nose-dived at various points with regard to Lance Armstrong, Gen. David Patraeus, the University of North Carolina and fact checks of presidential candidates after debates.

Not to be the pot calling the kettle black, Craig Silverman wrote on the Poynter website of 31 known incidents of journalists plagiarizing.

As we reflect on another year passed, we do need to be cognizant of teachable moments to us all. We should learn, share with others and strive for an even better 2013.