Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Not Everyone Can or Should Live in Utah
That's just a fact. Many people have said it. And I agree, not everyone belongs here. This is the place for those who can hold their own. For self starters, high esteem holders and pioneers. It's a place for the tough, the ground breakers and those who have learned to endure.
What I dislike about Utah, is the lack of diversity. It's also what I like about Utah. I live in Utah because if diverse people keep moving because of the lack of diversity, it will never be diverse. I like being a pioneer in that sense. I like paving the way for future generations and challenging people to stretch their minds and open them a little further than they would have.
Each day Utah is growing with different cultures and beliefs. I think it was my visit to the Farmers Market this summer that made me realize what a microcosm Salt Lake City is.
Quite a few people out there think of utah as the land of the Omish & Quackers, and a state full of Polygamized Laura Ingalls in true little house on the prairie fashion. The know there's alot of Mormons here and the myths they carry about the mormon determines their beliefs about the state of Utah:
Myth: Mormons can't watch TV, Listen to the Radio, use computers or have any of the modern convenineces.
Sorry folks this is untrue. Not only can enjoy those things just as the rest of the world, Utah remains on the cutting egdge of technology and technological findings. As a matter of fact the TV was invented by a mormon. To take things a step further, so was the word processor, cd/dvd, radio, video games and many other things enjoyed in the modern world. in less than a 20 mile radious from where I type this are the businesses of Intel, E-bay, Verizon, Discover Card,Oracle. Also about 40 minutes south is Novell and Corell aka Word Perfect.
Myth: Mormons can't drink soda/pop.
Sorry, wrong again. We can and do drink sodas. Some of us even make our own rootbeer and sarsparilla soda. We are encouraged to stay away from anything that may have an addictive element, such as caffiene
Myth: Mormons Can't eat meat
That's just crazy. We eat meat. The first KFC restaurant is in SLC, I pass it quite often. Many of the men enjoy the hunting of elk, and deer as well as fishing. Some people even raise their own. Me? I personally go to the store and purchase mine just as most of the world does.
Back in the day when meat was hard to come across the pioneers would focus on vegitables, fruits and grains in the spring and summertime when they were plentiful to grow, and then would save meat for winter time when fruits, vegitables and grains weren't so easy to come across. When you think of it that way, it practially logical, yeah?
Myth: Utah is full of religious fanatical farmers.
There is some farming. I see more of it in Michigan, my home state actually in terms of big farms anyway. Residences have small gardens, which is again common sense in the money department and organic department.
Even our church leaders are Doctors' Lawyers, Scientists, Editors and such. We really are in a state of industry, Literally. The beehive is the perfect symbol for Utah.
Myth: Utah is full of nothing but mormons.
That's true. This state is full of Mormons, Jack-mormons, non-mormons, less active mormons, dry mormons, fundamentalist mormons... you name it everyone here is some kind of mormon. Dont tell The Seventh-Day Adventist, Catholics, Greek and Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Baptist, Protestant, Penticostal people down the street. They might get upset about it because they will testify to you that they are indeed NOT mormons and they are indeed here in Utah.
Myth: It's against the law to drink or smoke in Utah and they don't have clubs.
Really? Because I've had enough smoke puffin drunks come up to me in the club asking for a dance. Yes there are clubs, bars, pubs and all the stuff you'd find anyplace else. The law that just passed is no smoking allowed indoor anymore. I LOVE IT! That means we can go to the clubs dancing and not smell like smoke!
Oh and the mythe about mormons not being allowed to sing or dance also false. Have you see the Mormons on "American Idol" and "So you think you can dance?" Utah produces some pretty talented people.
Back to my blog Title:not everyone can or should live in Utah. I believe that wholeheartidly. Utah is not the place for the average Joe. It is thriving and cutting edge in so many ways. However it is lacking in others. And so are many other states. I've heard Utah called the Whitest State in the Country. It's almost as though the media plays it out that way because of the Mormon Population.
The states with the least amount of black people in order are as follows:
Utah is further up on the list than I thought. Utah is a prime location for anyone who has the spirit of pioneering and educating. It is prime for anyone who admires MLK, Malcom X, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman or anyone else who welcomed the chance to make changes needed in this world. The best thing about it is... there is less resistance and an desire to learn and diversify. Not many people can handle that. I welcome the opportunity to make changes for the better and to be a force in the growing of this place. I like being involved on ground floor and first hand events and programs that help Diversity Utah. And I like that my daughter can relate some of her experiences to those of the civil right era in terms of seeing and being a part of some firsts for the State of Utah.
The first black student body president of BYU is a friend of ours. He was elected only 2 years after ole' Miss elected their first student body president. And ole miss is FILLED with the black population.
The first black female Student body president of My daughter's high school refer to me as Aunt Karyn and are my daughter,s best friends (since 3rd grade)My Daughter chose not to run as part of the student body because she wanted to focus on being her Laurel Class president which meant even more to her and made just as much progress as far as church was concerned. They are making history in their own way. I'm not so sure they'd have the opportunity someplace else. It's good for them, for their self esteem and it's good knowing they are making a difference not only in their community, but in the world.
Not everyone can be a Rosa or Malcom. Some people can't stand the heat and should stay out of the kitchen.
Another thing I like about Utah are the hometown and family values. Monday nights all over the state are riddled with family discounts and encourage family togetherness. I like that the whole state practially shuts down on Sunday, the Lord's day. Encouraging worship and rest from every day labors. Remembering the Sabbath day, and to keep it holy. I like the community of sharing and caring. I know that if I'm out shoveling my driveway, one of the neigbor guys will come out in a hurry and help.
I like living in a place where we make quilts for the homeless and have food drives for the community food banks and you can actually trust most strangers. It's your friends you have to look out for! (just kiddin!)
So there in an old time neigborly feeling with ice cream socials and dances at the local Churches and gymnasiums on Saturdays. I like friends who get together on a monthly basis to strengthen ties and bond. And I like knowing that if I'm sick or become bed restricted for whatever reason that my whole neigborhood practically has my back. I can't get that in typical anywhere USA. And let's face it, neither can you. There are some who are that fortunate. But most of my friends outside of Utah aren't that fortunate. And that's ok, some don't want to be. But I do. In a way, Utah has spoiled me: Good Values, Good recreation, Good Health Standards, Good Work Ethic, Good job opportunities. There's plenty of bad, just like anyplace else. But the Good here out weights ALOT of the good other places I've lived.
Not everyone can or should live in Utah. BUT I CAN!