Sunday, June 10, 2007

Little Town, Big Heart

Okay... my back is killing me today. Namely its from the nap I took at Relay for Life, that took place in Madison last night and this morning.

It was quite an event, though. The Luminaria ceremony was particularly moving, especially when I heard my grandpa's, aunt's, and best friend's parents names on the roster of those who lost their lives to cancer. And to see the lighted luminarias at dusk was quite special... in fact I'm kicking myself for not bringing my camera.

All together, though, the event raised over $25,000 for the American Cancer Society. For a town of 6,500 people, that is impressive. When you do the math, it comes out to about $3.85 per man, woman and child in the Madison city limits. Not too shabby!

You know, there's a lot of misconceptions about living in a small town. Some people think that living in a small town means you're isolated from the rest of reality, that all we ever talk about are the crops and the weather, and that we are uber-frugal and slow to change.

I can see where there might be some isolated examples of the above, but by and far, I don't think that it holds water. In the places I've been fortunate enough to live, I've witnessed and experienced the kind of friendliness and kindness and willingness to help out one another that you very rarely see in a larger city like New York City or Los Angeles. Perhaps it's because being out on what Newsweek once called "America's Outback," we tend to rely on each other a bit more for business, assistance, and overall companionship.

Even though we have our differences, we also have a pretty good self-depreciating sense of humor. After all, dis IS da birt'place uv da Ole and Lena jokes, don'cha know!

But I think it's the heart that really sets the small towns apart. From folks in Dell Rapids getting on their motorcycles for a poker run to help a 2-year old, to people in Madison giving money for the new Children's Hospital in Sioux Falls, we seem to have an overabundance (for the most part) of generosity. Others may disagree, and that's their right. But it's my right to say they're sadly mistaken, too!

But one thing I learned from last night... if I ever camp out again, I'm getting an AeroBed!

1 comment:

Adam Lasnik said...

Hey, no matter what the stereotypes, I've always had a soft spot for the midwest. Might have something to do with me spendin' 8 years out there ;)