Would You Move to Find Like-Minded People?
The ChickieNob and I were having an interesting conversation yesterday about how to choose a college. The Wolvog has already chosen where he wants to go and will not be swayed from his decision. In fact, he is so positive about his decision that when he finds a computer engineer or programmer who went to said school, he writes them a fan letter. You know, as one future alumni to another. The boy knows what he wants.
Whereas the girl child has some inkling of where she’d like to go but is open to thinking about all schools equally. Sometimes she wants to go where we went. Sometimes she wants something completely new. Location seems to matter above all.
This time the talk turned to the fact that sometimes people choose a school because it matches their personality. Free spirits may choose Hampshire, where there are evaluations instead of grades. Some women want an all-woman school like Smith. Some people are drawn to Big Ten schools. While there are some people who can thrive wherever they go, I think we can all agree that the type of person who would be drawn to Oberlin is very different from the type of person who would be drawn to Notre Dame.
I think that blew her little mind; the idea of figuring out what sort of person you are and then matching the school to fit your core being.
I recently took a poll on PBS which asked me to put in order of most important to least important eleven values for raising a child. By the way, the survey took into account both people parenting and people not parenting.
Click on the picture below to go to the site and take the poll yourself.
I discovered that I’m most closely aligned with Swedish values. Go Sweden! I could also live in Australia. I could not live well while parenting in Yemen or Ghana. The site also gave you the ability to see how your best value country measured up against where you currently live:
But it begged the question: while this is obviously interesting if you’re willing to pick up and move to a place where the culture matches your personality or core values, what do you do with this information if you aren’t inclined or able to move? It’s sort of like being told that you have to go to Notre Dame when you have your heart set on Oberlin. What do you do when your personality or core values don’t match up with the people around you?
And this problem, of course, extends beyond parenting. A lot of times, we live in an area that doesn’t match us at all. We’re country folk shoved into cities. Or we’re free spirits caught inside restrictive regimes. Or all we want to do is dance, but we live in a town that doesn’t allow us to dance.
What do we do then?
It’s an interesting question: how much does where you live fit with who you are? Has that changed at all over time, or have you just always made yourself fit your space?