I grew up in a very small town, allegedly around 2500 people.
I say allegedly as it may have been more or less than that…we weren’t real open to census takers.
We had one restaurant, one tavern, one gas station, two grocery stores and four churches.
The elementary school sat on the same property as the high school and the bus dropped all of us off at the same place.
My grandmother, my mother, and myself all attended the same school.
My mother and I had a couple of the same teachers.
These were the days before Californians and environmentalists, the days before we knew how much help we needed from such to maintain the place where generations had lived well and died full of years.
A good living could still be made in our forests, so the living was good after work.
Everyone knew everybody else or at least knew a lot about everyone else.
We knew who drank too much, who smoked weed, who was a homosexual, (we had no notion of “gay”), who worked hard and who was lazy.
We had some odd ducks in the community, including one fellow who spent summer afternoons lounging with his hogs inside the pig pen from which he would wave at passers by.
They seemed happy together…
It was as diverse as any other group of collected humans, with all the same issues.
Despite that, we lived in peace.
We did so because, as far as I can tell, the town only had one rule.
No mean people allowed.
A small town will turn into a hellhole under the burden of unnecessary conflict.
It was a requirement to treat others with respect, even if you didn’t like them.
We went along to get along for the sake of the community.
If you really didn’t like someone you just pretended they didn’t exist and they did likewise.
We accepted “diversity” because each person could be as “diverse” as they wanted as long as they didn’t impinge on others “diversity”.
However, if you beat your wife, or beat your kids, or just wanted to beat people up (physically or verbally), you had to move on.
We would assist you in packing.
We would insure you safe passage out of town and do so with vigor.
The world has become a lot smaller since those days.
The internet has shrunk us into a global village…but one without the rule we had.
We are free to be as mean as hell and the world wide web is often a snake pit.
If you think, vote, or worship, differently than someone else there will be those who will descend upon you like locusts to tell you how stupid, wicked, or ruinous to truth you really are.
They will do so as if it were not only their right, but their duty.
No one learns from the collected wisdom of the community because everyone knows it all already.
There are no real consequences to being cruel, so basic human decency has disappeared with a mouse click.
We are known, but only as a name on a screen that may or may not be the one our relatives bid us with.
We only exist until we are clicked away, others exist until we do the same.
It is a bloodless, soulless, way of life.
We think it real, but life is in the blood…
I would gladly give up all the internet has brought me…all the information, all the access to knowledge, all the access to the world…to return to the ways of simple community.
I want to go home.
Unfortunately, I hear they have the internet there now, too.
Make your own application…