A Short Commentary on Midwestern Values
CEDAR POINT, OHIO- Reaching the Midwest, I can’t help but think about the hearty innocence of the folk around me. The point was really driven home after Kelly and I spent Friday night at Cedar Point in Ohio, one of the world’s largest amusement parks. A Friday night at an amusement park would surely be filled with shenanigans, wouldn't it? With bands of kids running wild and cutting you in line? I guess I'm getting old that these are my concerns upon going to an amusement park... Yet fortunately, this was decidedly not the case. Everyone was respectful, reserved, and wholesome. I said something about this to Kelly, remarking about how wholesome everyone at the park was, and she looked at me with a dumbfounded expression and said, what, you mean they're Midwesterners?
As someone that’s never really spent that much time in the Midwest—I've visited, albeit briefly—I guess I never saw this for myself. I was always aware, as we are everywhere in America, that the Midwest has its stereotypical hum-drum values of family, hard work, and predictability, but seeing it in the flesh from Minnesota to Iowa made me think about how this region works hard to maintain a safe, secure environment in which those wholesome family values can flourish.
Unlike the coasts of America, where change is constantly afoot and everyone is racing to become a part of the next big thing, Midwesterners seem to live a peaceful existence without much abrupt change. While certainly not without its scourges, it’s a utopia for anyone looking to raise a family, and work to be able to support that family. They work to create a safe environment free of social strife. It’s not where young professionals go to change the world—and that’s OK, because change hardly needs to be everywhere. Sometimes it’s nice to visit a place where the most important thing going on is watching the kids grow up.