Across America there are efforts by local governments to control rural lands and the people who live there. As is too often the case, those responsible for the initiatives have no clue as to what rural life is all about. Of course, that's typical of too many of those elected or appointed to "lead" today. Start by looking at the presidency. But, back to rural control. The initiative is cloaked in innocence and I am sure that some working on the initiative are not totally aware of the ultimate goal. I would also assume that initiatives in some regions are more innocent than others. But, ultimately this is all a part of United Nations Agenda 21, the goal of which is fundamentally to "urbanize" rural. Before you discount this, study Agenda 21 and ICLEI a bit. The post below was published in The Virginia Gazette, a unit of The Daily Press Media Group, a Tribune company. More will follow.
JAMES CITY COUNTY'S “Understanding Rural” is a euphemism for “Controlling Rural Land.” Rural is more than land. It's people – lifestyle, attitude, mind-sets, principles. Controlling land portends controlling people. I know “rural.” I was raised “rural” between Ronceverte, WV, a village of 1700, and the historic community of Organ Cave – Rural, WV. After experiencing the world's largest cities, I'm still rural.
Rural communities have distinctive characteristics – smaller societies within the larger one. Their contributions to the larger society are positive. They have been the bedrock of traditional America, now being destroyed by misguided initiatives under the guise of the betterment of all.
Sense of family and community defined Rural. Providing for family and raising the kids were priorities of parents. They trained us to fit into our smaller society soonest and the larger one in time. We knew early that courtesy and respect for others were obligations. Ma'am and Sir were common words for us. We were schooled academically, but we also learned about life and how best to live it. Personal responsibility was instilled at a young age. We grew up quickly and most learned to work at an early age. I've jokingly referred to it as being coincident with learning to walk. Parents taught proper deportment and dress. Wearing trousers halfway down our buttocks would never have been allowed in Rural. We couldn't have worked in such garb anyway. Minor you say? Not. It's an attitude not condoned with rural youth. It's slovenly and a lack of respect in Rural. Many in the community were involved in raising children, especially in assuring their safety, not because it was mandated, but because they cared. The sense of community.
Faith in God defined rural folks. They found solace in their commitment to Him. Faith bound those with differences as “brothers” and “sisters.”
Most in Rural were “at one” with the environment. We loved trees and animals, but knew they were resources to be harvested – conservatively. Many burned wood and we knew how to harvest low-grade wood to preserve prime woods. Many were hunters, but game was food for the table, often a necessity. We raised much of our food and preserved much for the winter. Many raised chickens (yes!), some raised hogs and cured pork. Those with enough land raised a cow or two. We survived using raw milk and burning wood. Amazing! Understand why rural folks are so protective of property rights – and will fight for them?
In Rural, schools were for learning. Discipline was no problem. Parents taught it, teachers enforced it. Seeing news clips of inner-city students attacking teachers is incomprehensible. Same with bullying. We had bullies but their careers were short-lived. Forgive me for personalizing, but we took care of bullies. I was bullied by a cousin. Dad told me never to start a fight, but to defend myself. After that license, Dale's next attempt at bullying was his last. As a fourth grader in our 4-room Organ Cave school, my friend Kenny was being pummeled at recess by a chronic pest, Dennis. I “persuaded” Dennis to bully no more. However, he later spent time in the reformatory for other transgressions. Ken is 4-star Army General, Kenneth Wykle.
Guns! All boys, learned to use guns properly and hunted with fathers at early age. Nobody got shot, there were no massacres. Using guns was a right of passage for boys. Yes, that was yesteryear, but the differences in rural and urban remain today. Urban can learn from rural and all attempts to urbanize rural to control the land and people should be stopped. Now.
Joe Mann, James City Virginia