Do you look at 2013 with promise? We hope so.
Americans tend to view themselves and their nation with hope, even in the face of what they might consider to be grim times -- a sluggish economy, for instance, and a government that too often lately reaches fiscal compromise only when staring a crisis in the eye.
Compared to other parts of the world, the U.S. provides a life of plenty or at least the promise of one. Where there's a will, there's a way, and time and again Americans find that way. The nation makes mistakes, but we also know how to change course, to correct mistakes, to learn from them. The lessons can be hard, the damage consequential but not fatal.
Even when the nation seems dispirited -- when polls show most believe the nation is going in the wrong direction -- Americans summon the vitality, creativity and will to change direction. We adjust whether via elections, social movements, productive economic innovations or all of the above.
Hope and optimism are endemic to the American spirit. We hope they are alive and well in you as 2013 gets under way.