Tomorrow We Dance To Freedom

The Western Mindset

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The atmosphere breeds individualists who are self-confident and generally fair in their dealings with others. Immobilized by neither conservative nor liberal bias but driven towards pragmatic proactive optimism the true Westerner (more mindset than exact location) is always skeptical of outside dogmatists. More concerned with living in freedom not tainted by bureaucratic insanity imposed from afar, those who make their home in the U.S. states that express this rugged western spirit take pleasure in the living of life, not in the imposition of their belief system on others.

With cobalt blue expansive horizons painted against rugged mountain vistas or knife edged on a flat prairie stretching unimpeded for miles in all directions, it's impossible for this unconstrained environment not to breed boundless believers, climbers of dangerous cliffs.

Whether it's the rainbow colored sunsets on the plains, that are the very embodiment of a vast uncharted freedom, the chiseled white-topped rocky cathedrals reaching beyond the earthly, or the canyons that evoke a primeval peacefulness, every one of these remarkable creations spread across this amazing landscape are channeled into the aspirations of the people who inhabit this beautiful land.

Out here you can breathe freely air that isn't corrupted by staleness or smelly gas hemmed up in mist-shrouded swamps or forested valleys buried deep behind endless dark hills. You feel a promise of a better day, a new beginning.

In this fresh crisp vastness you also meet folks who generally aren't out 'to take you to the cleaners' so that they can obtain a tiny scrap of recognition from their fellow groupies. Basically, there's just more discussion about the pros & cons of issues and less acceptance of generally accepted orthodoxy. For there are few westerners that would ever trade their independence for a slot in a collective. Assimilation into any group that views the world within a fog of illusion grinds against the grain of these frontier adventurers. So just forget about promoting any group to a westerner that doesn't respect the individual, the contribution of each unique human being.

For when the winter wind howls out on the western range sometimes easily over sixty miles per hour the westerner doesn't give a damn whether her neighbor is profoundly liberal, moderate, or conservative. What is expected is that they be practical.

All that matters when nature displays her full fury (and it always does) is that your fellow westerners can be depended upon to lend a helping hand especially if it is their official duty, for shirking of one's responsibility is not looked upon lightly. The rugged, unforgiving terrain, where there is little room for error begets this overarching culture centered upon individual responsibility. For when things go awry, the individual streak found in most hardtack, tough westerners is more akin to the characteristics expressed by independents than absolutists of the liberal or conservative vain.

Therefore, for the majority of the West's inhabitants holding divergent points of view isn't criminal like in the bastions of purity on the eastern and western seaboard. What is absolutely important to a westerner is that you explain your strongly felt belief system, it is founded in reality, and above all else it doesn't impinge upon their individual freedom.

Finally, don't think for a second those folks who feel the draw of the wide-open spaces are simple-minded people who express themselves in predictable ways. On the contrary, being out (even in the civilized metropolitan areas) in this vast virtually untamed wilderness demands a flexibility, canniness, and adaptability to quickly changing events that promotes a more complicated outlook on life.

That's probably why most folks who hail from other parts of this breathtakingly diverse and beautiful country just don't understand why they can't peg a westerner or fit this enigmatic free spirited soul into a neat clean box.

A word of advice is in order - don't even try for you'll only frustrate yourself. There just isn't any magic potion that can restrain the limitless energy of folks who express their passions through the spirit of the Wild West.