With the stress of fast-paced urban life causing some people to lose their cool and fly off the handle or slip into major depression, it is this observer's belief that interspersed in between cities, or even within cities, that there should be pockets of small towns where time crawls and life is experienced at a slower pace. The main purpose of these towns would be to give people from large cities somewhere they can go where the values and way of life of the 1930's, '40's and 50's are still preeminent and people have a genuine sense of community. People are honest and soft-spoken, and they genuinely seek to help one another and to uplift, rather than tear down, each other.

From Vermont to California

Whether one is talking of the Small Town, village lifestyle of rural Vermont, or the folksy charm of small foothill towns of California, there is something to be emulated held within the secretive charm of small town America. In such towns, a person's word is his or her bond, and business deals are honest for the most part. People on both sides of a deal look at the deals from the other person's perspective before jumping in and letting greed take over. If a farmer's crop is not yet ready for harvest because of a storm that came through, or because of a drought, the storekeepers understand and don't penalize the farmers. On the other hand, if the price of grain is too much for the merchant to make a profit, the farmers will lower their prices to meet the needs of the merchants.

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In small town America, in which this observer was fortunate enough to be raised, bankers take the needs of small town business people into consideration before slapping them with interest rates that may be beyond the realm of possibility for most of these merchants. Bankers understand that the farms and businesses themselves are the collateral and don't demand that the borrowers also put up a home, a tractor, machinery, and livestock as collateral in addition to the businesses themselves. Borrowers are extended lines of credit with reasonable interest rates so that they don't have to apply for new loans every year.

An atmosphere of trust

All in all, there is an atmosphere of trust, comradity and brotherhood in small town America. Considering that there is widespread distrust in urban areas, pockets of small towns and islands within big cities would provide a much needed respite for the weary urbanite. In a world in which so many stores, including large corporate stores, are closing at unprecedented rates, having towns and urban islands in which the stores and businesses are privately owned, or "Mom and pop" stores, and corporate stores are not allowed, would be patently ideal.

This observer is fortunate enough to live in a small city that is surrounded by tiny pockets of small towns like the ones described here. Each one of these small towns offers its own sense of country charm, hospitality, rural values, and overall trust of one's fellow man. If the large metropolitan areas would think of creating small islands of such towns or villages interspersed among the big city boulevards and population centers, and easily accessible for our fast-paced urbanites, it just might do the trick and reduce tensions in the big cities. What do you think, are you willing to give it a try?