ord sunshine pumpers

life in rural nebraska

Reality Found in Rural

with 4 comments

DSC05380You can see below Kristina posted an insightful read about the current job prospects for college graduates.  If you’re a stranger to this blog, you’ll find throughout our writing the tremendous professional and personal opportunities that exist for individuals interested in calling Rural their home.  Often, we document the difference between reality and perception regarding the assumption that Rural lacks opportunity.  We hope to illuminate some of those ironies for the viewing public in the work that we do.

Starting over the next week, I’ll be kicking off an exchange with a writer with The Atlantic, a national magazine with a growing dynamic online presence.  You can read the beginning of the exchange here.

Our conversation will revolve around two philosophies seemingly in conflict:  Richard Florida’s documentation of the mass exodus of the creative class to urban centers, and Thomas Jefferson’s writings on the inherent goodness found in rural places.

While on the surface these ideals may seem to disagree with each other, I believe if you dig down deep enough you can find commonality.  Kristina is just one example of a younger generation that is actively seeking opportunity in a rural setting.  Many other examples of opportunity exist in rural places for younger generations for a variety of reasons, yet time and again young generations either don’t see them or choose to ignore them.  We’ll delve into some of those hard questions and look inward, too.  Do we as rural communities bear any responsibility for these trends or is this something entirely out of our hands?

Ultimately, though, I hope we get to the core of the idea that rural is something outdated and lacking in relevance.  Jack Handy could only hope to pontificate on these deep thoughts.

As an associate of mine says, “I believe you are on the swelling wave of the future. Quality of life will trump the chaos of the urban climate.”


4 Responses

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  1. Very interesting topic. I’m new at this. Can you tell me how to follow along on your communications with The Atlantic? I think you’re onto something here–that a percentage of people are looking for something quieter, something deeper than what is available in big cities.


    June 18, 2009 at 4:54 am

  2. I’d start with visiting the article we’ve linked with. We’ll cross post the exchange as it moves along.

    I hope you’re right about one thing – taking about a simpler life with rural surroundings. Ever since growing up on a farm and interning in college for a rural development program, I’ve been in love with rural communities. Only recently did I and my family get the chance to make the jump.

    Stay tuned!


    June 18, 2009 at 11:38 am

  3. […] Simply put, not only is social media fun, it works.  It allows us to weave a narrative on rural economic development that is hard to find anywhere else.  We’ve gained traction on a national scale doing so.  Don’t believe us?  Check here, here, here and here. […]

  4. […] between the Atlantic Monthly and myself continues here.  You can read up on the previous post here to get up to speed.  Conor and I will have a fun back and forth on whether opportunity lies in a […]

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