I don’t know about you but I’m a big believer in driving when I take a trip. Sure flying can be more convenient. But when you’re traveling among the clouds you miss so much culture on the ground. I have always had a wanderlust. For as long as I can remember I have loved to travel places and see different things. For me there’s nothing like going down the interstate with your radio on just seeing what’s around you.
I love driving old state highways. There is something about driving through an area that’s filled with lots of green trees and lots of green farm fields. I have worked in a lot of different places and seen a lot of different things. But the older I get the more I realize that while you can take the boy out of the Midwest, you can’t take the Midwest out of the boy. When you drive through a small town and take the time to stop you realize why people live there. The quality of life is really something to be desired. For the most part people are nice and they still take the time to say hello. You see kids playing in the front yard with their friends and maybe a dog.
I know some of you will say small towns are tough to live in because everyone always knows your business. And that may be true. But the same people who know your business are probably the same people who are also keeping an eye on your kid while watching their own kids.
I grew up in a larger city. But that larger city maintained its Midwestern values. Now when I visit a larger cities in the Midwest they all seem to blur together. Everyone seems so busy and so focused. It’s smaller towns that still feel like home to me.
So why am I thinking about this now? Good question. I don’t really know. I think maybe something my friend Trent said. Trent and I are both in our early forties. We are both members of Generation X. We are wedged in between the baby boomers and the high-tech generation. We’re entering that weird stage of life where we are starting to worry about our parents AND our children while feeling a weird sense of disconnect to the generation that comes after all ours. Trent summed it up nicely what he said “I’m tired and just want to relax”. I think he might be on to something because I find myself feeling the same way.
Maybe it’s a little bit of generational fatigue. But I find myself more and more wishing that people were nicer. I find myself thinking more and more that I wish people were a little more understanding of one another. I find myself wondering what happened to the concept of courtesy and respect. It is a very big and very busy world. A lot of things are seemingly happening all at the same time. I guess maybe the reason I have comfort on my mind is more than a sense of nostalgia. It’s how I wish the world was. Right now nothing really seems comfortable. People seem more impatient and meaner. And I wish that wasn’t so.