When I was a kid running track, my mom told me to always put myself in the fast heat. She said the only way to continue to improve was if I put myself in the race with the best. This was terrifying because it usually meant putting myself in the same race as amazing athletes like Valarie Warnke. I trusted my mom and she was right. You don’t get better by comparing yourself to who you’re already faster than, you get better by pushing yourself to be ahead of those faster than you.
That lesson and mentality has stayed with me throughout the years and I am reminded of it today when hearing about our State.
According to US News, South Dakota ranks 34th in opportunity, 32nd in healthcare, 27th in economy and 40th in crime/corrections. In addition, business.org states that South Dakota is 32nd in teacher pay. We are not even in the top half in these categories. When did we accept this attitude of “at least we didn’t get last!”
You can love something and know it is not perfect. You can want to improve something and still appreciate it. I love our State. I am proud to be from South Dakota. However, I also acknowledge that we have work to do. Let’s stop being satisfied staying where we are at the back of the pack, and start working towards moving up to first place. Let’s move South Dakota forward together.