Paul, I look forward to more of your writing and reading what you’ve written so far. I think you hit the nail on the head when it comes to leaning into your environment instead of blaming it.
I didn’t come from a super accepting environment in terms of racial diversity and it caused me to work hard so that I could see more of the world. I find myself in one of the “reddest” states of Kentucky, but I’m able to see things with a bit of a different view, especially after having lived in multiple cities/towns/backwaters and getting to travel a bit.
No matter where in the world we are I think we are more similar than we are different despite the languages we speak or the foods we eat.
Seeing people struggle to make a life in Mexico for themselves for a week or two as opposed to an all inclusive resort might change some people’s minds about immigration. Seeing how a backwater fishing village like Shenzhen is now a power house of a city might change people’s minds about globalization.
And I’m sure you have seen things that have influenced you and it is why you are writing about it and why you are probably going to be happy no matter where you live.