I’ve been pondering this thought for a while now: learning more about small towns and what they teach me. It enters my mind when a sign tells me to slow and I enter a scene straight from a movie. Buildings line a two-lane street; cars parked in front of lined-up shops. A single flashing red light in the middle of the road. A train track running parallel to the main drive. A place where the livestock out number the residents.
The thought trickles in when I see a worn down home or an abandoned building. I wonder how a small town even manages to survive. It looks as though the entire place will dry up with one swoop of a money drought. They will leave everything behind, never to step place in another small town again. Dried-up, they will say.
It is then I start to talk to the people of those small towns and I see the determination, the sheer will on their faces. They refuse to give up, to turn-a-cheek, or to give in to a city way of life. The believe in their town so much, they are willing to do what is needed in order for it to survive. They find the money somehow. They turn to their faith. They turn to each other.
It makes me think how we look at life and see something falling apart, and instead of doing what needs to be done to fix it, we just toss it aside and find something that we believe is better. If we would have just tried a little harder, perhaps we could have saved it. We could have endured.
I suppose I look at some of my decisions in life and wonder what would of happened if I maintained the small town mentality. What would have happened if I had just stuck through, toughed it out, made do with what I had.
However, there is another quality of small town people that I enjoy and it is their knowing of how to handle regret. You don’t. Not to say you don’t handle anything, but if you don’t have it, then you don’t need to handle it.
So I suppose I could regret a million things, and dwell on what was, or I can gather some small town mentality and push for another day, make the most of what I have, and learn to be comfortable with what I got. I can’t ponder on the should haves’ and the should have nots’. I just need to be. What’s done is done.
I learn more things in a small town than I ever have living in a big city. And perhaps, it is that I learn things on both sides of the fence, but there’s a side of the fence that is much slower, and because of that I have more time to learn. Perhaps.
Many lessons have been through this hard head of mine. They have swealtered, diminished, and they have flourished. However, something about seeing how this great land thrives, gets my brain wondering. What does a small town really teach me?
- You can’t feel sorry for people and all the things you think they don’t have. For those are the ones that have it all.
- When you go through a small town, think of all the people who stay to make it great. They have loyalty, respect, ethics, values, morals, and most of all, they have love.
- They live without regret. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
- They strive hard to make a life for those around them. If you don’t have each other, you have no one.
Just some random thoughts for today.