Rural America, rolled hay bales in fields of green. Tractors and tractor pulls, calves and milk buckets. Up early, to bed late. Faith, family and farms.
What is so wrong with that? Do the blue states really hate that so much?
Is hard work, tending to the land, helping birth the calf or lamb, really so bad?
Do dense, smog laden, people packed, crime soaring cities really have all the answers?
And, are their answers to their problems the same answers to our rural problems?
I dont think so.
I do not bash blue states as I have lived in ten of them. Yes, I counted recently. I have lived in every major blue state in the country while I worked in the tech industry – and that includes the valley outside of San Francisco. I spent my entire career in the tech industry with all the aspirations that tech could save the world. But, indeed it cant. Nor, can city issues/policies and circumstances save rural America.
Upon selling a few tech companies I retired and moved back to rural America, the backbone of my youth. I longed for the independence, the rewards of doing things with my own hands and healthy food that only my own garden and personal sweat equity could accomplish. I cherished the ability for me to raise my daughter off of technology where her feet could be buried deep in dirt helping me plant seeds and where her cowboy boots would fit best in saddle stirrups, not shopping malls.
My daughter is 20 now. And, indeed she loves farm life and rural life. She wears cammo and goes fishing, versus going shopping and living on her cell phone. She notices when she hangs with people her age, how they view their phone as an appendage versus a communication tool. Her identity is tied to the land and living creatures. Her sympathies are with the little lambs and the efforts the mothers put in to care for their little ones. The cold removed virtual existance of late teens and early 20 somethings, is strikingly noticeable to my daughter.
As so many young people and older folks alike, kind of like the city dwellers in blue states, struggle to find peace in silence, calm in the midst of the storm, I celebrate that I live a rural life. I am pleased that my daughter can live outside her phone. I bask in the fact that for my family time runs slower, digs deeper and pulls out the intrinsic meaning of life.
Life in rural America is very special. I would say almost sacred at this point. Why do I say that? Because it appears there is a deep divide of red and blue, cities and rural – that city folks are projecting great hatred toward. But, I think it is not truly hate, but rather a complete and utter lack of understanding of a different way of life than their own. The blue state party line is a group think wave where they feel their agendas and their agendas alone are the same ones as those who live differently. They demand the rest of us engage their personal agenda and act upon it with equal fervor. I dont. That is because I simply have different priorities as do many others in rural america – things like jobs, security, healthcare. My agenda and priorities are different – not bad, just different. Not a big deal and the whole point of what freedom means in America; people can be different and individual and not have to be part of the group think dictate. I cherish that about America.
I always encourage young people to visit our farm to show life from a different lens. I want them to help me while our ewes give life to lambs. I want them to learn how to make soap and mill timber into lumber. Their eyes are always widened and their thrill is always present. There are great things happening in rural America. And, there always has been. I believe that knowledge is lost on the blue states/cities of America.
My goal is to bring rural back. So, do they really hate us so much? Or do they simply not know. How can we reach the inner city youth and help them see life on a farm and how that teaches us about life period? How can we get rural kids into cities, so they too can learn about living this different way of life?
It is up to us ADULTS in the room to help bridge this educational and experiental divide.
This is my calling and with that, I believe that hate is not right — rather outreach and love, light and sharing is the path forward.
God Bless! L. Davis