For all the things that we profess to want in our campaign speeches, editorials and strategic plans -- a diverse economy, plenty of jobs, a healthy and educated populace, for example -- someone has to make an effort.
It takes a lot of people, actually, to decide that bringing up children who can read, write, compute and think critically is worthwhile. And then it takes time, money and energy everyday, year after year. That is how we all got here.
None of us who enjoy the benefits of education and employment got here all by ourselves, for all our hard work and dumb luck. Someone was behind each of us, probably a whole posse of people, saying, "You can do it," and "What do you need?" They were probably also saying, "Eat your vegetables," and "Be home by dark."
Fortunate kids get that at home. But not everyone is so fortunate. If a child starts further from the goal -- if a child is born drug addicted, for example, or is undernourished or is homeless, then we have to start there.
A familiar refrain you hear these days among the newly budget conscious, is that social programs don't work. Expenditures that don't work should be discontinued. But just because new people struggle does not mean that old efforts failed.
Wil Haygood is not poor. And neither is Sabrina Shrader. That is success. Not every kid will grow up to be a bestselling author and Hollywood producer. But not every kid needs to be. New schoolteachers, nurses, bus drivers, plumbers, welders, entrepreneurs, doctors and lawyers would be considered successful outcomes.
Whatever produces that result deserves our time and treasure.
Miller, the Gazette's editorial page editor, can be reached at d...@wvgazette.com.