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Big myth about the big city

Name withheld by request
York Mills Collegiate Institute
Toronto, Ontario

 It is said that the three most important words in real estate are location, location and location.

Many people believe that personality and character are determined at birth, but very often, it is where a person lives that affects their attitude, their demeanor, and ultimately their future.

Consider a child growing up in a large and multicultural city like Toronto. They are likely to be exposed to various clothes, foods and languages throughout their life. This child could possibly segregate, only associating with people of their own culture in order to develop a better understanding and appreciation for their own background.

Toronto, Canada

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.


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