Speaking Thursday at Mount Prospect's annual Community Prayer Breakfast, Mayor Irvana Wilks tried to put an optimistic spin on the largely grim local, national and world news that seems to crop up each day.
Wilks said she believes history is cyclical, and that the challenges of today will eventually give way to a stable and rewarding tomorrow.
"I truly believe in the next generation," she said. "They are the answer."
Wilks was the keynote speaker at the prayer breakfast, an event that brings together religious and community leaders for a morning of reflection and celebration. Thursday's event was held to coincide with the National Day of Prayer.
"One of the things that different faiths have in common is that they want peace and goodness," said Dawn Fletcher Collins, executive director of the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce, which helped organize the breakfast. "And really, we all want that, so it's a great thing to celebrate at a breakfast like this."
Wilks, who is retiring from public office next week after more than two decades of village service, said her keynote speech was inspired by a book recommended to her by Village Manager Michael Janonis -- "The Fourth Turning" by William Strauss and Neil Howe. Strauss and Howe suggest in the book that history is a series of repeated patterns.
"We've been here before," Wilks said, referring to the economic hardship, strife and violence that affect so many people in the world.