At midnight today we’ll flip the calendar and welcome in 2017.

Optimism and hope should fill our hearts as we welcome in a new year.

But the truth is that as we dive into 2017, the world is faced with much uncertainty. We’ll have a new president who dominated the headlines much of this year and is sure to do so next year. We’re eager to see if he can bring a politically divided nation together. The Middle East seems as unstable as ever. In the U.S., states, cities and towns face challenges — from failing infrastructure to drugs and violence. Affordable health care seems out of reach for some. Educational opportunities, too, are just a dream for those looking for a way out of poverty.

Quite simply, most of us don’t know what the year holds.

What we expect in 2017 may be based on what we experienced in 2016. If the year went well for us, we probably expect that trend to continue. If we had a bad year, we may be looking for a turnaround. Both, we hope come to fruition.

And, that brings us to our little corner of the world.

Troubles and all, we’re so fortunate to live in Southern Indiana. We’ve got problems to be addressed, and we’re sure to face unexpected roadblocks on our travels through 2017. We’ll handle them if we don’t try to go it alone.

A priority for the new year should be to continue to cherish our relationships and welcome new people with diverse views into our lives.

We don’t have to agree on politics and religion. Some of us enjoy a good steak; others prefer broccoli and spinach. We’re Cubs fans … Rebels fans … Hilltoppers fans.

We must work with passion to provide a good quality of life for all of our residents. Only then will we grow as a community.

Our wish for 2017 is that we treat everyone with the respect that we expect from others. Regardless of what becomes of it all, we hope we can set a good example for our children.

Happy New Year.