Moving from a major urban area on one of our coasts to a city in the middle of the country can be a major shock.
If you have been through such a transition, you know exactly what I am talking about. Outside of the United States, many try to make generalizations about “American culture”, but the truth is that we are a nation that is made up of thousands of increasingly divergent subcultures. So if you pack your stuff up and plop yourself down in another state a thousand miles away, you may find yourself in the midst of a culture that literally seems like it is from another planet. In some cases that can be a good thing, but in other cases it is not so good.
I decided to write about this because earlier today I came across an article about a woman named Katie Bishop that recently moved from California to Iowa. She says that life in Iowa is “crazy different”…
“I just moved to Iowa after living my entire life in California,” she says in the clip. “And it’s crazy different.”
Of course she is quite right.
I have relatives in that region of the country, and they are much different from people that I know on the west coast.
One thing that just about anyone would notice is that people in the Midwest tend to be a lot more friendly than people on the west coast. Katie Bishop attributes this to population density…
In her video, Bishop goes on to say that population also plays a role in the stereotype that Midwesterners are so nice. “The population is so low, but the size of the stores is the same or bigger,” she claims. “And because the [employees] aren’t overworked … the workers are in a better mood.”
It isn’t just a “stereotype” that Midwesterners are generally nicer than people that live on the west coast.
And if you spread everyone on the west coast out and gave them a lot more space, that wouldn’t suddenly make them as nice.
Ultimately, it is a cultural thing.
From a very early age, we absorb the culture that we find ourselves in. That doesn’t mean that it will determine what type of people we become, but it undoubtedly has a very powerful influence over how we develop.
There have been some places that I have lived that have had cultures that I found to be appalling. When I lived in Washington D.C., being antisocial was a way of life. It was an unwritten rule that you do not greet anyone that you do not personally know. Everybody is in a hurry to get somewhere, and most people strictly avoid personal contact with strangers and generally keep their eyes pointed toward the ground.
If you ride the Metro at rush hour, even though there are people crammed in like sardines you will likely not hear a single conversation happen during the entire trip to your destination. And if someone does insist on talking, they are often looked down upon by the other commuters for upsetting their solitude.
I could go on and on but I think that you get the point.
Another thing that Katie Bishop says is very different about her new life is the weather. She says that she has “never been so cold in my life”, and she insists that she is often in “physical bone-chilling pain”.
This is typical of many that flee California for greener pastures. It can seem like a good idea at the time, but many that move to the middle of the country end up going back after a long, cold winter.
If you are not accustomed to harsh winters, the adjustment can be extremely challenging.
I wish that I could offer some words of encouragement to Katie Bishop, but I can’t. And that is because it is obvious from her other videos that she has brought her California values to Iowa with her.
And that is a huge mistake.
Values are the reason why California has become such a nightmare in recent years, and many California refugees end up trying to make their new states just like the hellhole that they just left.
California was once such a beautiful place, but these days it seems like just about everything is going haywire.
Every week, California makes the news for all the wrong reasons. Earlier today, we learned that the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the state has now risen to a whopping $6.24 a gallon…
California: come for the poo-covered streets, stay for the crippling gas prices. That’s right, while the national average gas price hit $4.76 per gallon this week according to AAA, Californians are now paying a record $6.24 average per gallon after the state saw prices surge past the $6 mark for the first time in history last week.
Meanwhile, the worst drought in “1,200 years” continues to cripple production in our most important agricultural state…
California is the U.S.’s produce aisle. The state grows more than a third of the country’s domestically harvested vegetables and two-thirds of our fruit and nuts. But feeding the nation requires a lot of water. Agriculture eats up about four times as much water in the state as urban water usage. Right now, farmers are struggling to meet their needs with what’s available. Because of water shortages, hundreds of thousands of acres are sitting stagnant, without any crops growing. An estimated 400,000 acres of cropland were idled because of lack of water last year, according to one analysis from the University of California and other groups published in February. And things have continued to get worse.
If you live in California, it is just one crisis after another.
It has been that way for years, and millions have been fleeing for greener pastures as a result.
Unfortunately, eventually there won’t be any greener pastures left because California culture is slowly but surely spreading. Here is an example that I came across earlier today…
The National Football League has hired its first openly transgender cheerleader. Justine Lindsay, 29, told the world in an Instagram post in March she made the Topcats, the cheerleading squad for the Carolina Panthers. In that same Instagram post, she also came out as transgender.
The big corporations that run things seem to think that this is what we want.
And if the whole country was just like California, they would be correct.
But the truth is that the whole country is not just like California, and hopefully we can keep it that way for as long as possible.