I have mentioned the “Wyoming Way” in a previous column.
The way I described it was: “When someone asks you if you can do something, you say ‘yes’ and learn it as you go.”
I think that’s true.
Look at it like this: True pioneers who wanted a new, different and better life came to this country, colonized it and won the right to make a new life on it.
For good or ill, it took a spirit—people with that genetic quality—to undertake that task and to take those risks.
People who came out west were a breed of that same spirit.
The spirit of: “Let’s take that chance to make a better life for ourselves despite the perils.”
So now the people out here are a subset of a subset … to put it at least semi–scientifically.
Like a sieve though, the Rocky Mountains seems to have separated out even the hardiest of that bunch.
If you make it to the west coast, that is beyond the area I’m talking about. I think the mindset there is a little different, but I haven’t quite figured out what that is yet.
Those that braved the west were tough. Those that made their lives work here were even more so.
There is likely at least some of validity to this.
It seems logical anyway.
But people move around a lot more now. Easterners move out west, westerners move south … and so forth.
It’s much more convenient to go where a particular job might lead you anymore.
I mean, hey. Ya’ll got stuck with me didn’t you? A southern boy who don’t know no better.
I still think folks out west are, for the most part, risk takers and folks who want to do better in some way.
I also think the attitude can be learned.
I caught on didn’t I?
If you didn’t know before, now you know too.
If it was a secret, I apologize.
I am a “journalist,” and it is kinda my job to spread news.
I especially like spreading good news and somehow, in some weird way, I think this is good news.
Was I getting sappy?
Look, I am an optimist.
I can’t help it.
Perhaps enough hasn’t gone wrong in my life.
If it has for you … I sincerely hope you find an opportunity or new outlook to make your life a better one.
Most of the time, I find it to be just your own personal point of view on things.
To bring it back to the “Wyoming Way” (I was rambling, I know), I think hopefulness is a large part of the equation.
I certainly have met a disproportionate amount of optimism in my travels across the west.
If you are someone who can’t see the good side of something or take a pragmatic approach, those are qualities that can also be learned.
But that’s an optimistic view isn’t it?
Honesty is also a quality I have found widespread “out west.”
People around here generally will tell you like it is and deal straight with you.
That was to the point wasn’t it?
By the way, why is it “out west,” “back east” “down south” and “up north” anyway.
Why the adverb-laced phases commonly used to describe regions?
“Up north” and “down south” seem to make sense because that’s how we learned to look at them on a globe.
Where the heck is “back” and “out” though?
But I digress … again.
I would apologize, but I am having fun taking you down my particular rabbit hole.
Where was I? …
While the “standard of living” may be higher elsewhere, we do like our wide open spaces.
We like we know our neighbors for the most part.
This being the case, I have found we are less materialistic than a lot of places.
But then we have less to work with as far as material things go.
At least the folks who came out in covered wagons did.
And they got here and started building.
I suppose everywhere was like that at one time, but it still seems more alive in the west.
Hey! I get my opinion. Who’s writing this thing anyway?
I have lived in a region of the country that prides itself on it’s hospitality.
But western hospitality is a very genuine thing indeed.
Nothing more needs to be said about that (until I run out of other ideas).
I invite you to get out here and experience the Western Way for yourself.
If you’re here already, keep it up!