Editorial: Successful planning, direction

Jul. 26, 2014 @ 11:55 PM

Starting a project from scratch or somewhere awful close to it can be scary, challenging and frustrating. Its rewards can go beyond imagination.

Or, quite often, reset someone’s imagination.

Whether we choose to think inside or outside of the box, effort should be given in a collective manner for the future of our community. It happens regularly with government leaders, through various arms of economic activity and development, and through the strong support afforded to numerous non-profits.

Current status and results of recent years against the tide of a recession lead us to suggest something more is necessary. Few among us are discouraged enough to declare the sky is falling; but there is scarcity of believers our future is super bright.

We won’t have to start from scratch. Positive points are already in place.

Should we choose not to start yet another entity and climb aboard its bandwagon, then we need one to step forward more than is taking place now.

Two stories circulating this weekend in different arenas are examples for our encouragement.

Half a century ago, Upward Bound was an experiment of President Johnson’s War on Poverty. Students from low-income families who might not have gained a college education otherwise have been pouring out ever since.

From 2,061 participants the first year to about 76,000 currently, it has grown successfully.

Ten years ago, the already popular NFL considered satellite radio 24 hours a day seven days a week. Radio, in an Internet and television age 21st century? Sirius had about 500,000 subscribers then and now numbers 18.5 million.

Downtown projects that began more than 30 years ago in New Bern and Salisbury are examples closer to our community needs. Each was arguably “just another town” in the 1970s, with movement from inside the city to the edge near major roads and more traffic.

But in each community now, the downtown is alive with activity.

Overnight or single year changes didn’t happen in any of those four examples. Nor in any of hundreds more we could list.

But sustained planning and direction did take root, and what followed was a series of paths to be chosen and sometimes from which to be redirected.

Our community needs defined direction. And in time, we can be the example for others.