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I am a Pollyanna. Beyond that, I endeavor to be the most open-minded, non-judgmental optimistic person possible. I try not to make snap judgments about people and search for the positive in every situation. If facts and experience prove otherwise, my good opinion can change, but I truly believe in the advice given by Bambi’s mother: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!”

Coming from that place I find it painful to watch someone whose opinions I have valued in the past become increasingly small-minded and intolerant. Provincial is much more than a furniture style — it is a distressingly narrow “I believe it because I believe it to be true” attitude, an attitude that more often than not thrives in a small town.

Of course I realize that there are small-minded people in big cities as well as small towns. But the greater opportunities for growth and experience that exist in big cities, in my opinion, promote broad-minded attitudes. In my best fantasies, there would be a neighborhood of perhaps 10-acre parcels (big enough for chickens, cats, dogs, gardens, and tree houses) within walking distance of excellent beaches, schools, boutiques, restaurants, coffee houses, libraries, and museums. A community that would let us feed our minds and exhilarate our souls without the limits of small-town preconceptions. If you know of such a place, let me know. I’m seriously searching.

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