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July 7, 1997


By Rick Smith

What you do today
colors all tomorrows

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I recently joined an organization called the World Future Society. My
wife says the name of the group sounds like some kind of a cult or
something, but in reality it is a world-wide group of people who are
interested in the future.

Many of the members are sociologists and almost all are at least
interested in the way society works and the direction the world is
headed. Judging by the articles they write in the organization's
publications, more than a few are bleeding-heart liberals.

However, what interests me about the World Future Society is that its
members are seriously applying all the tools at their disposal to
envision the future. I don't mean they use crystal balls or psychic hot
lines. Rather they do things like study current trends and determine
what the trend might develop into. They study cycles of history to see
what the next cycle might be. Things like that.

One of the most important lessons I've learned from reading their
literature is that the future is not something that will just happen.
The future is something that is created now.

Of course there are some things we can't do anything about. All our
plans could suddenly be destroyed by a tornado or a car accident. But,
aside from such accidents, for the most part we control our own destiny.

How the world fares in the future depends on what we do today. The same
with the nation, the state, our city, our block and our lives.

It seems to me that we are all too often so caught up in the here and
now we forget that we are on a journey. The present is only one step in
that journey. While we are all here now, we have all come from somewhere
and we are all going somewhere else.

Where we end up depends on the step we take right now. What we do today
as a community determines the future of our city.

I'm a strong believer that where you end up is not as important as the
journey to get there. I enjoy road trips because the trip is as much fun
for me as what I do when I get to my destination. I sometimes forget
that it is important to have a good destination in mind.

So it is with our lives. We can get so caught up in the trip we are on
that we forget we are headed somewhere. Maybe it's like highway
hypnosis, we get hypnotized by the journey and forget we are moving down
the road.

What's my point? Just a simple one. What we do today determines our
future tomorrow. We are each in control of our own destiny.

Think about it.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Rick Smith is an Enterprise writer and city editor whose column appears each Monday.


Tobacco pact
a smoke screen?

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The stunning tobacco liability agreement ... is a highly unusual climax
to a highly unusual chapter of American legal history. But in all
probability the deal is less climax than anticlimax. This is just where
things begin to get interesting. ...

Before there is any hope of congressional approval, President Clinton
will have to endorse the terms, and that, too, is less than certain.
Although he is clearly attracted to the idea of seeing the tobacco
liability controversy ended in a comprehensive way, there are political
risks in being blamed for letting Big Tobacco off the hook. ...

Obviously, the elimination of smoking would be a good thing. And every
reduction in smoking helps. In that sense, the legal coercion against
the cigarette makers serves a useful purpose.

But the urge to punish an industry that for three generations has had a
respected place in American life doesn't set well. It flies in the face
of the fundamental American value of individual responsibility. And it
can't help but make nervous those who may be wondering if their products
might be the target of some future inquisition.

-- News & Record of Greensboro, N.C.

Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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