Thoughts on Place

Perhaps I’m the only one who feels this way, but I feel that the place I was born is the “normal” place to be born, as if being born anywhere else is something extra.

Obviously, examining this deeply held feeling from a rational standpoint makes it ridiculous. Eastern Oregon clearly isn’t the most normal place to live or be born. There can’t be a “normal” place.

2014-06-15 18.36.08

Still, the feeling remains, and though it may seem innocuous, I think it may actually be a harmful thing, because along with it comes the feeling that who I am is the most “normal” person to be. I am a cisgendered white male, and if I accept that as normal and all other traits as something added on top of that, then I’m given to incorrect assumptions about other people’s identities as well as my own.

So there’s my problem: I have this deeply ingrained feeling of my own circumstances as normal, and in order to be a kind, productive, good person, I need to at least ignore the feeling, if not get rid of it.

Does anyone else feel this way? Is it a feeling singular to privileged people? Let me know what you think. Raising my own awareness with discussion seems like a good first step. That or mushrooms ; ) .

This was a response to a writing prompt. I had just listened to the song “Not California” by HEM, which got me thinking about place bias. Feel free to write your own response and link to it in the comments.

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