Rethinking “Small Town Thinking”

“Small town thinking” is frequently used to mean an ignorant or limited viewpoint. You might hear it used as, “She moved to the city to get away from the small town thinking.” 

It took on this meaning when living in a small town meant being disconnected from the wider world, cut off from news and information. Today, people in small towns have instant access to the assembled knowledge of humanity on their smartphones, the same as urban people. We’re no more cut off than we want to be. 

Small town people have a few added advantages. We are raised with a direct and personal sense of community. We have a closer connection to nature and the natural seasons. We know better than to do something we don’t want everyone to know about. When we spend three hours in the car, we’re not stuck in a traffic snarl, it’s driving down a country road surrounded by nature. 

OK, those are stereotypes, too. But they make the point: small town people can have the best of both worlds today. We can connect to the enormous wider world through technology, while we live and work from a more human-scale community. And that’s a kind of thinking I can get behind. 

Keep making your small town better,


PS – If you have any last ideas for what to do with a roofless building, now’s the time to hit reply and send them. I’ll be publishing the compilation soon. Wait til you see all the great photos! OK, OK, just one teaser: Union Square in St. Francis, Kansas. You’ll have to wait until next week to see the rest.