The Eagle editorial: Keep growing, don’t rot

Originally published in The Eagle newspaper April 28, 2016 (

“When you’re green, you’re growing. When you’re ripe, you rot.”

That quote is credited to Ray Kroc, a businessman who is credited with building McDonald’s into the success it is.

This statement has a message that has been passed around the newsroom multiple times through the years. There is a poster in the newsroom that reads, “Oh, that’s good enough.” This poster is hanging as a sarcastic reminder that we should always strive to be the best that we can be, in all aspects of our lives.

We are nearing the end of the semester, and it is easy now to do the bare minimum in order to get by. Admit it, you’ve calculated the lowest grade you could possibly get on your final test or project to still pass your class. But this quote from Kroc reminds us that once we have the mindset that we are the best we can be and we stop trying, that is when we start to rot.

When we take on the mindset that we can do more and we can do better, that is when we will be growing and improving. The other mindset, the “Oh, that’s good enough” mindset, is an easy one to have. It is so much easier to settle for average than it is to strive for great.

Many of you may be preparing to graduate, leave school and move on to the real, adult world, but as cliché as it sounds, this is not the end of your journey.

It is important to go through your life always learning, always improving, always striving to be better than you are right now. Otherwise, you are just going downhill; there is no standstill in today’s world. Even if you feel like you are treading water and maintaining, the believers and achievers are going to be leaving you in their dust, and eventually you will choke on it and find yourself at the bottom of the ladder.

Two weeks ago, the staff of The Eagle took home the “Best in Overall Excellence” in both the newspaper and the digital medium divisions for the sixth and second consecutive year, respectively, at the Nebraska Collegiate Media Association Golden Leaf Awards banquet.

It would be easy to say that what we are doing is good enough and we do not need to do anything more in the next year to improve because we are obviously the best already. But, if we think like that, we will lose next year. That is a guarantee. The other schools in the association are improving, and this year was already the closest competition it has been in years.

If we keep the mindset that we will continue to win just doing what we are doing now, we will rot.

We, as journalists, promise to always give you, our readers, the best we have and always do the best we can, and we promise to always remain green and growing. We don’t want to rot because you deserve better.

In these last few days of the semester, we ask you to take a look at yourself and your mindset and analyze if you see yourself still as green or ripe.

Give all you can in the final projects and assignments for your classes. Strive a little harder to turn that B into an A, or maybe give more on a group project than is required of you.

Always be green and growing; don’t let the final days of the semester rot you.


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