Prior to 2007 the majority of the world’s population lived rurally. But, for years (just counting from the 1960’s) the trendline was towards urban growth and away from the boonies. Sometime in 2007 (according to UN figures) the trends crossed and more people in the world lived in cities than in the country.
The exodus from living rural started even earlier than the 60’s (unmeasured by the UN before then) and it has been measurably constant since then. Everyone was moving to the city; young, old, different generations, Africans, Asians and, of course, First Worlders.
This urban population growth continues even today despite the urban birth rate dropping below the replacement rate. Currently the only place on earth reproducing at or higher than the replacement rate is Africa. And even they are trending down.
Is it irony or a just a coincidence for us? Sometime around 2004, we went the other way, locationally speaking (we stopped reproducing back in the 80’s). Took us three years to finish building out here so one could say that it was in 2007 that we went totally rural. Talk about being a timely, in-sync contrarian, eh? Man, oh man…...”If all those folks are headed South, I want to go North.”
Fundamentally anti-social at the very least, dontcha think?
Admittedly, I have not been a joiner or a follower or a sheep of any kind but, face it, I am as mainstream a Canadian as anyone. Average Dave. I watch Netflix. I drink scotch. I’m pretty ordinary, actually, in many, many ways. I used to joke that I could be the poster boy for Statistics Canada. But, it seems, not in this one category…..
…why is that…?
Main reason, I think, is instinct. I got me some of them instincts, I must admit. And I listen to ’em, ya know? One just gets ‘feelings’ about things? Feelings are easy and hard to explain. Basically, you know what you are feeling but you don’t always know why. There are many reasons for unfathomable feelings – inferential scanning, of course, genetic tendencies and upbringing, information sources, obvious omens and signals have to be included in that. But, really? Feelings and intuitions are much more mysterious than empirical.
Sal and I once followed a major highway sign in Mexico and went along the new direction for a few minutes….I slowed the car…..Sal looked at me….I said, “This is not right…” and turned the car back to the first intersection. Sal said, “That’s weird but I feel it, too, I think turning back is the right idea.” A few days later we read in the news that it was discovered that criminals were misplacing highway signs so as to entrap drivers in a dead-end area where they would be robbed and sometimes killed. What was that feeling? What made us stop and turn around? Others hadn’t and had fallen victim.
I mention that story only to illustrate how feelings and instincts give messages and sometimes they are right. I am sure my instincts and feelings have been wrong, too. They are not infallible. But the feelings, the instincts and the little hairs on the back of my neck are real.
Consequently, we are here and not living urban. Jus’ sayin’…..