But more often than not, a child in this situation will grow
accustomed to the differences and eventually stop seeing them
entirely. He or she may later marry outside their faith and live
a life that is totally unlike that of their parents. This particular
characteristic of big city life may not be important to everyone.
But multicultural awareness is a major reason my parents moved
to Toronto from Waco, Texas, a tiny town outside of Dallas. My
mother describes anti-Semitism that she experienced in Waco that
I could never imagine, never mind experience, in Toronto. I feel
grateful that they understood the varied and interesting environment
that waited for us here. And I feel more grateful that the reputation
of big cities did not discourage their moving.
My closest friend is originally from Winnipeg. She talks about
her pure and happy childhood growing up with neighbors that were
like her own relatives. Her cousin still lives in Winnipeg and
frequently talks about how big city kids are fake and unappreciative
of the simple pleasures in life. He accuses me of being materialistic
and cold because I always lived in a place where people did not
know or trust those around them. His attitude tells me that the
harshness or even excitement of big cities is grossly misunderstood.
I don't suggest that all people who have grown up in a small
town are ignorant or negative about big cities. I have just recently
seen the differences between the two styles of living and I wonder
how my life would have turned out had my parents stayed in Waco.
My family is now trying to sell our house in the suburbs of
Toronto. Real estate agents are always inquiring about our neighbours,
the closeness of our community. The truth is we know little about
the people living around us and we have trouble describing our
"location" to potential buyers.
It's just a small consequence of leading a busy big city life,
but one that does not outweigh the many advantages.