Insight into what you ask? Well I thought I might explain a little about my upbringing, and how things worked in a small mountain town. Hopefully this will help any who might decide to read this understand the substratum of my thoughts, ideas and philosophies. Being that this blog will be about my observations and perceptions of what happens to me and my family, it might be helpful for people to see my foundation.
I believe that most people that grow up in the cities, and larger communities have no idea what it is like to be "part of a community". In a small town, mine was about 500 people, everybody knows everybody, and many of them are related in some form, whether by marriage, siblings, cousins, or what ever. This simple fact forces one to fetter what they may say at any given time. You simply can not talk about another person behind their back because it will get back to them and there will be hell to pay. This causes a person to be forthright, but withdrawn at the same time. What I mean is that it is perfectly acceptable to talk about any person that is physically present and able to defend themselves, but not about any person who is not present and therefore can not defend themselves.
My father would say exactly what he thought about any person to their face, and really did not care how they felt about it, but would not say anything behind some ones back. He was actually a very reserved person, and did not say much, but when he did people listened. I think, I do not pretend to know, that he believed that if you could not defend your statements, and present a solution, you should keep quiet. I guess I did not acquire that family trait. Maybe I should rephrase that, I have recently seemed to loose that family trait. Since discovering blogging, I have found an outlet for many of my problematic thoughts and ideas. The trouble I am having is coming up with solutions for what I consider problems. I now have no trouble talking about them, and perhaps some people would wish I would shut up.
People in a small town did talk to each other, on a regular basis. You would inevitably run into them just about anywhere. I guess you could call it social current event sharing. I do not think of it as gossip, now don't get me wrong we did have more than our fair share of gossip mongers. They were not respected, and usually disregarded. You could not help but to know what was happening to every one in town at any given moment. neighbors would talk to each other and actually communicate, not just say hi and wave. If you had a problem with a person you confronted them and solved the issue. Usually by communication, but there were time that it would get interesting.
No matter how you felt about some one, at some point you would need their help or vice versa. All people would come out in a time of need to lend a hand or cook a meal, or do what ever they could to help a person out. Both my parents were involved with a large number of volunteer organizations such as the Ambulance service, Sheriff's Posse, Search and Rescue, what ever was needed. We were all involved in 4H and a few other community groups that served to keep the kids occupied, and provide a foundation of volunteerism.
There was one Sheriff, and everybody had his phone number, and knew where to find him. The Sheriff also knew every person by name, and their children. The kids were not afraid to talk to him, and would never show any disrespect. For that mater, I think we would never show disrespect to any adult, for fear of what would happen when we got home, because our parent would know about it 10 minutes after it happened. Don't get me wrong, we were not beat or anything like that, but actually feared our parents disapproval. That is not to say we were not disciplined, we each had our fair share of spankings in our youth, but it was not a beating or abuse, and served to steer us in the right direction.
I guess what I am trying to say is that we grew with a willingness,even a desire to take an active role in our community. We also had a basic respect for people and property. It was displayed for us on a daily basis. That is why I have such a hard time in the city where people are more likely to turn a blind eye to things that are happening. I do not quite understand the assumption that "some one else will do something". I think that many communities, small and large alike, that are having problems with crime and other things, could take their community back, simply by getting involved. As the cast of Extreme Makeover Home Edition is always saying go to A Better Community.org and find out what you can do.
Think small town, live small town and help like a small town.