“Don’t look back,” major league pitcher Satchel Paige once said. “Something might be gaining on you.”

But on this, the last day of 2019, it may be instructive to look back through the year and review our triumphs and struggles, although it’s not a universal belief.

While there’s wisdom in the ballpark sage’s position, there’s deeper navel-gazing metaphysics in a brief observation from the Bard of Avon, who observed in his play The Tempest: “What’s past is prologue.”

If that’s true, we have much potential in 2020.

Over the past several days, the Eagle has been reviewing its top local stories of the year. While some have been controversial, many are positive signaling significant possibilities for the days ahead.

Our economy is good, and there is evidence in the addition of restaurants, business and industry, including a repurposed West Point mill property in Abbeville.

While there has been an increase in tent encampments for homeless people, there has also been a burgeoning benevolence effort spearheaded by non-profits and supported by local residents to try and meet the immediate needs of those without homes.

Our city school system concluded a controversial restructuring that closed several schools, combined high schools and created a unified middle school facility in the former Dothan High School. We are eager to see the school board’s vision come to fruition.

Confucius said, “Study the past if you would define the future.”

Have a safe, happy, and productive new year.

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