Thursday, April 17, 2008

Small Minded People

What is it with small town people and small mindedness. I guess at some point I was also probably like that. I grew up in a small little town about 30 min from Johannesburg. I guess the advantage that I had - was that because my mum had a business in the city we were still exposed to the big big world.

We moved away from this small town a few years ago and my my how the goalposts have changed. People that we were close friends with for what seemed like forever suddenly seem alien in their thinking. What was important to us was not important to them and vice versa. When we see them or chat on the phone it is as if they have stayed back in time and we have evolved into different people. I am not saying this in an arrogant way I am just basically highlighting the differences between people who I have grown up with and how far apart our lives have become.

I know that people change and we all grow and evolve. I often wonder what my life would have been like had we not moved away. Yes I often reminisce about my childhood but to be quite honest I am glad that I moved away and got to experience life as it is. If I had stayed in this small town I wouldn't know:

What it's like to live 5 minutes away from Eastgate. Shopping comes first. lol

I probably wouldn't have met T and would have been oh so hung up on my ex.

I probably would have been married now with a kid or two in tow.

I wouldn't know what its like to actually sacrifice and go without. An experience that has not only made me stronger but has taught me to value what I have today.

I wouldn't share this close bond with my mum and brothers.

I wouldn't have known what it's like to own a home at 23.

I wouldn't know how to appreciate having that home as it is a result of having nothing and working towards having something.

I wouldn't know how to appreciate all that I have and know that there are times when days are dark but it is the love and strength of relationships that can make it all seem better and help one pull through.

I wouldn't know that the people who you think are your closest allies are actually your biggest enemies.

I wouldn't be the strong independant woman that I am today.

Back to my topic of small-mindedness - I think its a townie thing. Their lives are governed by small talk, petty little happenings, who did what, who said this and who is scandalizing with who. I was probably like this too at some point in my life - but boy am I glad that my life is not ruled by gossip and idle country bumpkin chit chat. A thought that is just too horrible to fathom.


Tamara said...

Hi there. I'm new to your blog, but I'm going to leave my opinion anyway :)

I reckon people that live in small towns but have travelled or experienced things outside of those towns can grow and not be small-minded, even if they continue to live in small towns for the rest of their lives. Even if you've got the Internet you're good!

It's people that don't want to think about anything outside of their small town (or big city or even their country) that become small-minded. But if you have an inquisitive spirit, I guess you're safe wherever you live.

PS: Sies on that silly witch who judged you for being Indian! May her customers (white, black, and Indian alike) all desert her!

Blue Sunflower said...

Hi Tamara

Thanks for the message.

I agree with you on that note. I am by heart a country girl and I would never want to trade my childhood experiences for anything.

And I do truly believe that one can change ones mindset and not be ruled or governed by petty little issues. I was a bit miffed this morning about something that happened with an old friend of mine. But I totally agree with you...

Thanks for the comment....

Tamara said...

Pleasure, treasure. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

angel said...

oh i know exactly what you're talking about!
i also grew up in a relatively small town, but moved out and finished growing up elsewhere.
i always thought my memories were a little exaggerated until i started holidaying with family in another tiny town and the small mindedness drove me nuts when i was only there for a week!

sweets said...

i have a hangover... i couldn't read everything... hehe i'll be back on monday sunshine ;)

Blue Sunflower said...



You started early. Have a gr8 weekened.


Anonymous said...


I reside, only temporarily, in Cleveland, Mississippi. This town is home of the gossip bout others, what's happnin bout others and just pain boring, who died, who moved and generally local crap!

These small town people are small minded, arrogant about nothing, unfriendly, unworldly and unsophisticated and judgmental! These are folks who do nothing but frequent local eateries, gamble and have the same jobs for 40 years and have only family as friends. Having anything else is threatening and the husbands tote 'caveman' mentality over their women and the women LOVE it!

Why not having a MAAAAAAN in yer live is downright unsouthern! It's an absolute MUST to have one plug yer hole, mow the lawn and appear to be lookin after ya! (All while they're lookin at someone else and gossipin about them too!)

Absolutely NO intellectual conversation regarding politics, education or anything remotely worldly. Judgemental at BEST! And, they don't mind handing over a heavy dose of it if they think you don't measure up to THEIR standards! Frankly, fitting into another country or small island would be just as easily accomplished. Help! I am drowning in a sea of mediocrity and stupidity. No one hears my screams of help or assistance and that too is as disheartening as the insincere and disingenuous inhabitants of this lowly place in the Delta.

Small towns, within reason, can be safe havens from the predatory vultures from within larger and more competitive cities. However, some small towns breed contempt and self-serving 'big-fish'... 'little-fish' attitudes that foster self-fulfilling prophecies that maintain small minds and minimal acceptance of others.

These people are self-centered and self interested and their only interestes lie in having someone else caring about them and THEIR concerns.... which are circuitous...and revolve again... around themselves!

Glad to be leaving Small and small minded people!

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything said here. For my part I live in a village called Hockwold. We moved here 6 years ago when my lovely grandad died and we weren't coping with it. In this time, whilst minding my own business, I've been nastily bullied at the only local workplace, personally been approached and encouraged to get in some bloke's car while taking a walk to the river, touched up and propositioned with sex by the old age local taxi driver on my way to work, been laid in to for leaning against someone's wall on a main road while waiting for a friend to drive down and physically attacked by some bastard who couldn't accept I'd stumbled onto his precious derelict building grounds in the village by accident (He hit me hard on the arm and kicked my calf, kicking my trainer into the verge). Oh and a local idiot let his loose staffordshire terrier rip into my dog two years ago (thankfully he survived), then had the gall to shout abuse at me every time he passed the house and is refusing to repay my £600 vets bill (I've now taken him to the small courts). Then people wonder why I hate living here. Can't wait to move away from this bloody hile full of wasters.

Kate said...

I agree with everything posted here. I just moved from a small town where I had to live for 9 years. I am having trouble adjusting to "regular" life in a large suburb (with several suburbs around it and about 20 minutes from a large city) after living in a small town. I was used to hiding out every day to escape the judgmental, arrogant, rude, RACIST, SEXIST, HOMOPHOBIC, people that mostly populated the small town. I don't trust people now when they are trying to be nice, and I also am struggling to accept that maybe I'm not such a terrible person that the small town people made me feel like every day. I was outright ignored by salespeople, cashiers, and everyone else on a daily basis. . . Just because I wasn't from there. I am from literally one hour away from there, but wow, what a world of difference. I never used to believe people when they complained about small towns or feeling like an entire town hated you, or I thought they were exaggerating or just sensitive, but no- it is a VERY real thing, this small town sickness. And frankly, it should be studied if it has not been already. My best advice is to MOVE as soon as you can! I wish you all continued healing from our lives spent in these awful places. We can do it!