In defense of other points of view, and lifestyles, in Phoenix, Arizona
Since I'm fascinated with the history of Phoenix, I will often talk about things that I really know nothing about personally. I call that "looking at Phoenix through other people's eyes", and I love it. This can be very confusing to people who don't understand what I'm doing, as a quick glance at what I say can make them guess that it's a point of view, or lifestyle, that I prefer. I really don't, but I will defend. Please let me explain.
As you may know, I prefer to live in the suburbs. I live in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix. I chose this house mostly because I wanted a garage. I've always been obsessed with cars, and I just hated the thought of them having to sleep outside, or be where they could could (gasp!) a door-ding in a parking spot. And this is my point of view, and lifestyle. But I will defend people's rights to live as they please, even if they (hard for me to believe!) don't want a garage, or even a car.
Observation without judgement is extremely difficult for us humans to do. Even if we say that something is wonderful, we're passing judgement. Of course, if we say that it stinks, we're very clearly passing judgement. And to me there's a time for judgement, and a time for observation. Walk with me.
As I look around Phoenix, I wonder why people do what they do? There's a Starbucks a couple of blocks away from me, and I see the cars lined up all of the time. My preference is for ordinary coffee, either the kind I make at home, or the 97-cent Senior Coffee at McDonalds, and I wonder why people are going to all that trouble, and expense, of buying a cup of coffee at Starbucks. When I've asked people, most have become defensive, imagining that I'm being judgmental, but I simply want to know. I asked these questions as a kid, and I still ask them. When people do respond to me without thinking that I'm arguing with them, the answer is most often that they just like it, it's worth it to them. I like that answer.
I have so many questions that I'll never live long enough to answer them all. Why do people in Phoenix like trucks so much? And most importantly, why do they live in Phoenix? Why do they do the things that they do? To help me at least get a little bit of understanding, I try to imagine that I'm working up on a roof, or I'm a Glendale cop. The list is endless, as you can imagine, and of course I'm not interested in changing myself, or the people around me, I simply want to observe.
Thank you for walking with me. And rest assured that I will defend you!
Image at the top of this post: Staying at the Autotopia in the 1940s, Phoenix, Arizona. I wonder what that would have been like?
If you liked this article, and would like to see more, please consider becoming a patron of History Adventuring on Patreon. If you're already a patron, thank you! You make this happen!
Click here to become a Patron!
History adventuring posts are shared there daily. The basic tier is a dollar a month, and the PhD tier, which includes "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, videos, and super high-definition photos, is five dollars a month, and is discounted for seniors, veterans, and students.
Posted by Brad Hall