It would be intellectually dishonest not to acknowledge that Greenwood and the surrounding area face many challenges.

Our small city is located in a largely rural area at a time when the nation’s population is increasingly gravitating toward urban areas. On measurements of health, education and income, we’re not at the bottom in Mississippi, but we are closer to that end than to the top. And the dominant trends in the U.S. economy in recent decades — the outsourcing of manufacturing to cheaper labor in other countries, the explosion in automation and online commerce — have not been kind to communities such as ours.

If you focus on those difficulties, it’s easy to get a bit glum.

But there’s another way to look at the past and the future — the “glass half-full” view. Such a perspective recognizes that for all of our challenges, there’s a lot of good going on in our community, a lot of talented and wonderful people, and a lot of work being done by them to get that glass even fuller.

This newspaper’s Profile edition, now in its 33rd year, is our comprehensive reminder of what works well in this community and who is responsible for it.

Along with the features on the people, companies and institutions that give this community its special identity, the 2019 Profile edition focuses on projecting what Greenwood might be like 20 years from now. As you read what several bright and thoughtful community leaders have to say, you can’t help but come away feeling generally optimistic about the future.

Greenwood has many attributes: Good location, good transportation infrastructure, plentiful access to higher education and workforce training, a robust social and spiritual life, good leadership in business and government, and a local economy that seems to be very resilient.

The people who live in this community, though, are its greatest attribute, many of them rooted by birth, others rooted by choice. They are invested in making Greenwood the best it can be. The fruits of that dedication are evident throughout this edition.

We hope you will enjoy it.

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