Michigan: The Good and the Bad


By Piper Simons

“I’m Smitten With the Mitten!”

You can not hear this on a Michigan street anymore. With the recent legislature being passed in the state, it’s hard to remember what there is to love about Michigan. “Matt’s Safe School Law” permits a gay student being bullied as long as the bully says homosexuality is against their religious beliefs. Elected officials can be thrown out by an “Emergency Financial Manager.”  Budget cuts have left teachers angry and frustrated, and students left feeling helpless.

I notice myself thinking “What’s happening in the state of Michigan?” This thought occurs not just once in a while, but frequently. Multiple times a week.

I suppose it’s hard to deal with Michigan. The state has had budget problems for years, and there are cities like Detroit and Flint where there is just too much to be done. The crime rates are skyrocketing, the once-flourishing cities are becoming ghost towns, the money disappearing.

At this point in Michigan’s history, we need to remember the good things. It’s best to put these on a mental Post-It note, something to just remember when you read the latest headlines and hear about new legislation.

Michigan has a very progressive culture. We’re more open-minded and accepting to change and new ideas. Michigan has a history of liberal voting, such as the stem cell research amendment and the medical marijuana bill.

Michigan has some of the best universities in the nation. Some of the best hospitals in the nation are in Michigan, like Bronson and Spectrum Health. Some of the best children’s hospitals are in Michigan, also, such as the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

Some of the most beautiful sights, like Sleeping Bear Dunes and Mackinac Island. Good Morning America named Sleeping Bear Dunes the most beautiful place in America.

The Great Lakes. Michigan is surrounded by fresh water.

One of the best things about living in Michigan? Being able to point to where you live on your left hand.

Even with the terrible things happening in the government and in the cities, the best thing to do is think about why you love Michigan, even if it is as simple as remembering when you were in kindergarten, pointing at your hand and saying, “This is where I live.”