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Differences between people in rural and urban places?

June 18, 2017

The Washington Post released the findings of a survey of people in urban and rural settings, and as i expected, it confirmed that America's deep divide right now is cultural rather than economic. People think that their values as well as aspirations are threatened by the current status quo, and they have acted to protect these values.

 

It may be our most American trait that we each expect that our values matter, and will be honored. We have expectations of our time on earth. So when i saw a resident quoted about how much better small town residents treat others - and how little compassion city residents have for each other - i was stunned. My five decades in the heart of Detroit - and i mean, Heart - came flashing before my eyes. As much adversity as the city has known, being emptied of the vast base of hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs upon which so much of the national prosperity was built, is how much heroic attention i always saw in my neighbors and colleagues throughout this really big place. Acting for the good of strangers and rising above some deeply entrenched barrier. Detroit is the poorest big city in the country in terms of that base, and yet the most generous, and i think, the most resilient. 

 

This is more than a parlor debate - which is good, because ain't no parlors where i come from. The ability to come together around a meaningful foundation of improvements depends on common ground. That means recognizing our values, as well as reacting from a point of fact and observation rather than ideology or propaganda. i am always going to react to immigrants, to poverty, to joblessness, to environmental problems and other societal ills, from a position of empirical reality, because it is all right here, in front of me - obstructing the throughway, smiling in my face, laying on the side of road i walk by, rising in some ethereal way to deal with some unthinkable tragedy.

 

Because i live in a city, i am actually connected to all aspects of our rich and complex society - not solely to those of my choosing, or of my circumstance. it's a nice vantage point for figuring out what comes next, so i'd like to share that perspective through this site. 

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© 2017 by Janet Anderson PhD, Great Cities lover

5212 Hillcrest St, Detroit, MI 48236

Tel: 313-884-2478