Small Town USA Versus The World
You’ve all seen the cliché stories or movies around small town USA. Everybody knows everybody, nothing is ever locked, and rumors are spread like wild fires. I have the privilege to grow up in small town USA and it is exactly what you think. All of those stereotypes are correct. Fast forward several years, I’m now living in a large suburb of a major city with anything I could ever need within a short driving distance.
The reason I bring this up is there are some people that never leave small town USA. This could be due to comfort, familiarity, or they truly are unaware of what lies outside the safety of their small town. It would appear limiting to live within the confines of a small town and narrow exposure, but for me personally leaving Farmville opened up a world of opportunity. With that being said, the thought I’m proposing is not leaving a small community could be hindering the growth of you in terms of knowledge, experience, and risk taking.
For anyone who has lived in a small or rural town, then you understand that life is easy. Life just passes by as you wave to the neighbor walking down the street. Children play in the street yelling “car!” when a slow moving vehicle passes by. It’s understandable why people have no desire to leave. Slow pace of life may be for some, but from what I see in todays world and my personal experiences, this could hinder the potential within people. Sometimes all people need is a little kick in the butt, and small town USA typically doesn’t have that sense of urgency.
Another aspect is the sheltered life of a small community. Again, people enjoy the safe life, but there could be unlocked potential if people would step out of their comfort zones. Small communities tend to have minimal events or pressures, leading to a potentially stagnant life.
Lastly, the lack of experiences in a small town may fail to drive any inner desires that are lurking. It is difficult to accomplish big dreams when the resources around may be limited. Obviously this is not a blanket statement, but starting a tech firm with slow Internet may not be the best option. A map dot town is not all bad but there are limitations in place.
I use the term world to describe anything outside of the small town. Escaping a small one minded town can help expand knowledge. From my own experiences, staying in a local community narrows your knowledge by remaining with the familiar. Being exposed to the same triggers and eliminating new ones can begin to dull the mind. Leaving what is comfortable and going somewhere new and busy can begin to show you sides of the world you have never seen, potentially opening up doors.
The world has much to offer in the way of variety. Instead of shopping at the same store meeting the same people, the world offers new experiences and places to see. Lacking variety in my opinion not only continues to limit knowledge but also stunts potential motivations. You may find something you never knew you loved in your small town, and this could turn into anything.
Lastly, it is important to learn calculated risk taking. Conservative small towns appear to be against risk and this can limit opportunity. Leaving small town USA can begin to open your eyes to calculated risks that will potentially pay off.
All Things Considered
After all is said and done, small town USA is my home and will always have a place in my heart. By moving away however, I have been able to grow in many ways. I wish everyone would leave their small town for just awhile and explore, seeing what the world has the offer. The small town will always be there to return to if all does not go as planned. Thinking about this more, it may simply be a case of you don’t know, what you don’t know.