Small Town Living, They Talk to Each Other

photo fo two people, a child and an adult looking at a sunset over the ocean

Life was a lot slower and simpler in the fifties and sixties.

Written by Gary Wonning

Continuously, people, especially those from the east coast criticize people living in small town USA, particularity the Midwest. One of their major complaints is that small town people know everyone’s business and life story. 

So what, what have you done wrong that you don”t want anyone to know about? 

So what, if everyone does know, you are only human, humans all do things they would be better off if they haven’t done them, everyone else in your little town has done the same. 

In most small towns people have a genuine concern for their fellow neighbor and even though they may occasionally gossip about them, when the chips are down, they will pitch in and help each other when those in the larger cities could care less about their neighbor and leave the helping to someone else. 

I always hear about how people in cities don’t even know their neighbors, how is that working for you? Your next door neighbor can be suffering some life threatening catastrophe and you don’t even know. You can be having a major issue in your life, and there is no one there to help. 

How comforting is that. 

No wonder so many people need a shrink these days. 

One of my favorite movie scenes , is the scene in Crocodile Dundee where Mick and Sue are walking down a New York street and Sue is telling Mick how great her psychiatrist is. 

Mick has that deer in the headlights look and asked why she goes to a psychiatrist, Sue replies, “So I can have some one to talk to.”

Mick is puzzled and asks, “Isn’t that what a mate is for?”  

It’s so simple, most in a small town realize this and there is always someone willing to lend an ear and listen. They may not be able to help, but they will listen.

Many times that is all we need is for someone to listen. 

It seems to me that talking to a mate is a lot simpler, easier and less expensive than it is to hire someone to listen to you, to me that sounds rather preposterous. 

Sometimes , obviously, a professional’s advice is needed, but many times, all that is needed is an attentive ear. 

How many lives could be changed if someone would just listen, someone who knows your life situation rather than an over paid shrink whose only advise is derived  from a  book that  told him how to respond.

To me that sounds impersonal and cookie cutter. 

I have lived in small towns and larger cities and although I enjoy the conveniences of a larger city, I will take the friendliness of a small town any time. 

Small towns are like family, many times they have lived in the same community for generations. They know each others history  and like a family, they quarrel, make up and lend a helping hand when needed. 

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures, and is available for book signings, and speaking engagements.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

 

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The Advantages Of Small Town Living

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Written by Gary Wonning

Many years ago, a very wise person told me that I would eventually travel extensively and would learn many things. She also told me to never forget where I came from, to never forget what was important in life.

At the time, I didn’t understand what she meant.  I grew up and was still living in a small town in southeastern Indiana. It seemed rather insignificant to me, about the only thing there were corn fields and basketball hoops.

There were very few of what we now consider the modern necessities of life, restaurants, theater, etc, the finer things in life. It took several years for me to finally realize  that wise person was correct.

Many say that people who live in small towns are narrow minded , old fashioned, stubborn, and many of the various negative traits we attach to people who are different than ourselves.

Having lived in both communities, large cities and small towns, I have found it doesn’t matter where you live or how you grow up, there are narrow minded, stubborn people on both sides of the aisle, conservative or liberal, black, white, male female,rich, poor, it doesn’t matter . Often times the ones claiming someone else is narrow minded is the one who is the most narrow minded.

Having said that, there are many advantages to living in a small town.

The most important things in life are the small things, and many believe  living in a small town is a small thing , home to small minds.

Living in a small community naturally keeps you closer to the land, closer to nature.  In this world, many adhere to the American Indian philosophy that says we are losing our way because people no longer live close to the land or nature.  I believe this is true, and it is awfully hard if not impossible to live close to the land when living in a ten story high rise in the middle of a large city, sure you can go to a park and co-mingle with a thousand other people, it isn’t the same as being in the middle of nowhere.

The most important things in life are friends and family, and the times we spend with them.

This culture is most likely to be cultivated in a smaller community, where people live close to each other, and have time and actually take time to cultivate these relationships.

My high school graduating class had a total of fifty-three members.  For a large part, we have remained close over the years, even though many of us now live many  miles apart in different areas of the country.

I still consider them to be some of my closest friends, that’s something most who grew up in larger communities can say, many can’t even remember one person or have seen them since their high school graduation.

While it is true we can and often do make friends along the way, they don’t replace the ones we grew up with and have the most connections.

I still have lifelong friends in that small community even though I don’t get back there as much as I would like.  Regardless of when I would walk into the Napoleon Tavern or the Osgood Grub Company, I will find lifelong friends.

That is priceless. 

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.