The bright lights of Times Square at night.
The star power and wealth of Beverly Hills.
The historical landmarks of Boston.
These are the places where most people dream of going and living when they are older. However, as great as those places may be, nothing can compare to growing up and living in a small town.
Too often, we as a society dismiss small towns as insignificant and unimportant. In reality, they represent an example of togetherness and close-knit communities that we desperately need in this time. My hometown of Camden serves as a perfect example of this. No matter how people in the community may feel about each other, they are always civil and respectful because they are bonded by things one cannot find in large metropolises. Almost every Friday night in the fall, everybody in the community gathers at Zemp Stadium to cheer on the Camden High School football team. For one glorious night, people who barely even know each other high five one another like best friends when a good play is made. This would be impossible to replicate in cities like Los Angeles and New York due to the sheer number of schools there.
In addition to promoting togetherness, small towns also leave a mark on the people that grow up there. Camden has produced famous athletes such as Vonnie Holliday and Bobby Engram, successful lawyers and doctors, and a wide range of personalities. Almost all of them have either moved back, routinely visit, or given back to the community in some way. These people have all recognized that they would not be where they were without their small town.
Finally, small towns come together in the face of tragedies that make the community stronger and helps lift up the victims or their families. Camden has had a number of tragedies in recent years. A number of high school students have been hurt or killed. However, the community has managed to honor them in ways that make the community closer-knit and let the families know that the whole town is grieving with them.
Before you right off your small town as boring or insignificant, remember all of the good that it brings to you. Most of the time it outweighs the bad.