1. I want people to move here and to stay here. I want those same people to be motivated and vibrant and breathe life back into each and every little town speckled across our rolling hills.
2. I want the people of my state to be thoughtful, educated, and prosperous.
3. I want everyone to take 5 minutes out of their day to learn something new about the world around them.
4. I want the people who live here to be healthy and happy. I want them not to feel so hopeless and helpless that they turn to whatever vice they lean on. Gambling. Opiates. A particularly nice bottle of bourbon. A not-so-nice bottle of vodka.
5. I want the people who live here to travel, not just to Myrtle Beach, but to get out and see our country. I want them to see that our lack of fortune isn’t all that unique, it is spread thick across our country like peanut butter out of a cold cabinet. I also want them to see that our gusto and our resourcefulness are tremendously unique.
6. I want to see the people in my state find and hold steady jobs. I want there to be steady jobs.
7. I don’t want those steady jobs to be at the expense of our natural wonders here. We need to be smarter and stubborner this time. Dig our heels in and protect our little piece of this world.
8. I want the people who have been here forever, the gate keepers, to see and think about pathways to the future. I want them to see that we cannot go back, there is only forward.
9. I want to see an expectation of morality in our state and country. And I don’t mean, God told me to morality, I mean deep down human morality. You’re a human, I’m a human, so I am going to be kind to you morality.
10. I want the people in this place to start talking to each other. Start having conversations with the intent to understand. Ask questions like, “Why did you stay here? Did you ever think of moving elsewhere? Have you traveled elsewhere? Where did you go? If you didn’t travel, why not? Money? Fear? Desire?” Then ask questions like, “What is your favorite thing about this place? What is your least favorite thing? Why is it your favorite or least favorite?” And then you can start asking things like, “How do you make a living here? Is that what you wanted for your career? Is that a viable option for others? Do you have ideas about what others might do to support themselves?” And you have to really listen to the answers. That person’s time is a gift and their thoughts are valuable so you must listen so carefully. And if they ask you questions you answer them humbly and honestly. Think about your answers before you say them. Think about them like it is a job interview, like it is your taxes. Be thoughtful. Because right now, this country and this state are so deeply divided that listening and responding thoughtfully is just about the only path forward.