"If ethnicity is one side of the coin, then geography is the other" - J.D Vance in Hillbilly Elegy
Hillbilly Elegy tells the story of the southern hillbilly culture that embraces problematic behavior such as domestic violence or drug use, and the severe impact that it can have on a community. For whatever reason, we talk about the role of the color of our skin constantly, but we often ignore the role of our physical location.
In a world where we are so connected via the internet and remote work gaining popularity, I sometimes underestimate the impact of where we live and where we grow up. It influences what we do, how we think, the people we surround ourselves. It tells us what is "normal".
After returning to Bucknell from San Francisco this summer, I was surprised that none of my friends knew anything about bitcoin, or what Coinbase was (keep in mind, bitcoin has exploded since then and the price has more than tripled). Looking back, this should have been obvious, but I had grown so accustomed to people discussing cryptocurrency and its potential impact that I had come to expect it.
Often times the culture that surrounds our geography can blind us from what is right in front of us. Even if know the culture is hurting us or not setting us up for success, it can be incredibly hard to leave.
But it's more important than ever to get outside your geographical bubble. You can even do this even just with reading. Why do we do things the way that we do? What is true but not obvious?