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Posts Tagged ‘#smalltowns’

 

As the teenage student spoke of his experience in the small South African town, I found myself smiling, knowingly.

He spoke of people on the streets saying hi to him, waving from a distance, knowing him before he had even arrived from traveling the thousands of miles from the Pacific Northwest. He had visited a place, as a stranger, which had immediately felt like his very own community … because he felt known.

That is what it is to be in a small town … you feel known.

Many people who visit small towns speak of similar experiences. Hubby and I are both from small towns on the East Coast. When people we know visit the East Coast they often return with tales of how friendly the locals were. Hubby and I usually smile, knowingly, then tell them the truth … the people are friendly, but they are nosy too.

I realize now that to have grown up in a small town was a privilege that few get to experience.

When I walked down the street everyone, from the postmistress, to the car salesman, to the corner store cashier, to the town gossip knew my name, who my parents were, and where I lived. If I was hanging out with the wrong person, my parents knew it before I got back home. When I graduated from high school, I received cards of congratulations from many of the people in our neighborhood.

Growing up in a small town can provide a great sense of security, support and community. It can provide an ownership and responsibility to all who you share life in the community with. It can make you feel like you are part of something bigger.

Sometimes, when we are in the midst of an experience, we fail to appreciate the blessing of where we are. What a great experience it was to have grown up in a place where everybody knows your name.

 

 

 

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