Loyalty to the family must be merged into loyalty to the community, loyalty to the community into loyalty to the nation, and loyalty to the nation into loyalty to mankind. The citizen of the future must be a citizen of the world. -Thomas Cochrane
I was frustrated while reading something benign – America’s Most Livable Cities.
The list is compiled by Forbes every year. They measure “five data points in the country’s 200 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas: unemployment, crime, income growth, the cost of living, and artistic and cultural opportunities” to determine which cities make the list.
If it were up to me they would also measure green-space, walk-ability, overall architectural interest and climate. You can say that I am being a spoil sport (especially about the last point), but moderate climates will do wonders for your quality life!
But hey, everyone has their own proclivities.
The omission that really gets my ire is that they do not account for diversity.
This frustrates me to no end. Living among people from different political persuasions, cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds is an enriching experience for adults and children alike.
Furthermore, it’s 2012.The world and our nation is becoming ‘globalized’ if you will and it’s important that people become acclimated accordingly.
I’ll never forget my fourth grade teacher who interwove American history and the history of her Japanese American family as she led us through a re-enactment of Japanese Internment. And long before I ever sat foot in the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine of the Sikh faith in Amritsar, India, I visited the opening of a Sikh temple in my neighborhood.
Beyond the nice-ities of diversity, there are the necessities of it as well. As a person of color having diversity around is not merely enriching it’s also about survival.
Most of the “ideal enclaves” touted by Forbes are very homogenous and were created via 1950’s white flight.
Many of these predominately white communities would welcome my husband and I today, but would they really be ideal living environments?
While I want my family to have a very diverse network of inter and intra-group cohorts, I never want my child to have to be the only one in their classroom, place of worship or playgroup.
I think this is damaging to a healthy sense of self-conception and self-identification. They will need a peer group they can relate to and positive adult role models to succeed, as this group of black parents recently discovered.
So suffice it to say I am annoyed that Forbes attempted to create a template of the ideal American neighborhood and painted me out of the picture.