Cooper Boone – Keeping a Small Town Heart in Any Sized Town

I grew up in a small small town in Minnesota that was basically run by nuns and farmers. Life in my hometown was a place where doors were left unlocked, games were played in backyards not on computers or tvs, people waved when they passed by, the American Flag was honored and a crucifix was not a political statement but one of faith. But, like all things life and times changed.

The world became a different place and the commonly held values and beliefs that I was raised with seemed to become more uncommon as time progressed. This is not a negative statement on progress. I think amazing things have happened over the past 20 years that are magical.

I think we as a culture have become more aware and tolerant as a direct result of technology and having access to information via the internet.

Cooper Boone Performing Live

When I sat down to put my thoughts together to write this, I asked some of my friends who were raised in big cities, if they experienced any of the values and memories that I did. Hands down, we all shared a common thread of these core beliefs: community, family, loyalty, compassion, honesty, being your word and having faith in the unseen. So, what I thought of as a “Country” based value system existed for my city buddy’s as well. How could this be?

OK. This is what I think. I think that we all ultimately come from small towns from foreign lands. My German and Irish ancestors all immigrated from small towns far away before they landed on Ellis Island and beyond.

Whether they ended up in big cities or small podunk towns like mine, they still passed along what I think of as these core values, values that exist no matter where a person lives.

So when people preach “small town values” I kinda bristle. Do we ever hear anyone preaching about “big city values?” I’ve had the good fortune to live in both small and big towns in the world throughout my life. As a result, I have come to see these really great core values live in both equally. Case in point, my day on 9/11.

Disheveled Man Covered in Dust Walking Away From 9/11 Attack Site

I was living in New York City the day of 9/11. What I came to see was devastating and amazing. Bodies covered with dust walking uptown in a daze, the smell of burning electric wires and dead bodies permeating the air, a cloud of haze making eyes and minds blurry. I lost good dear friends in towers that day. But, I gained a community. My fellow New Yorkers showed just how good we can be as human beings. To watch how these hard “Big City” folks transformed into a platoon of good hearted neighbors was sobering. All those myths and stereotypes about New Yorkers faded into the background. They immediately came together like a small town at a barn raising…helping each other walk through this waking nightmare. Values.

For me the bottom line is that good values are good values. My hunch is these core beliefs trace back to our ancestors’ small towns. The good news is that they have continued to be strengthened as the many years have passed. For me, no matter where I am I do my best to hold tightly to what I know to be good and true. So, yeah…..these beliefs might come from my great country upbringing by nuns and farmers in rural Minnesota….but strong values live and prosper no matter where you live…..that country spirit is a place in the heart, not a place on the map.

This post was submitted by Cooper Boone.

3 thoughts on “Cooper Boone – Keeping a Small Town Heart in Any Sized Town

  1. congrats on, hollywood music in media nomination. i realy didn’t know what values were tell i was 16, when i chose my values, i thought i was given the most beautiful gift. i live were, values is just a thing, not an honor, it seems true, even in my own family. i cry on the fourth of july, when they sing our nation song and yell my head off when the fire works are set off. my family give me crap for that , i quit going to the parades’s because when they walk our flag down the street and i stand to clap at it , my family say its unexceptable. when i talk values, my family think im weird and, laugh. morals and, values are a joke here. i think what you wrote about , is amazing. i also think you are amazing to feel ,that what you had to share or say about values and, morals was a must, and very important. i admire your strenth and the desire to get past 9/11 and how, you let it change you for the better.sorry that you went through that. i hope you and your family are doing well, since the funeral, and i love the new song you posted . dawn

  2. hit the nail on the head. I’ve never felt that values were only synonymous with country living. All people have core values, it’s whether they want to continue using what they’ve learned through life that matters. Whether you live in a rural or urban area or anywhere in between. Sometimes it seems like we are pulling away from those values but then something like 9/11 happens and shows us we still honor those values. Shame it has to be like that, but tragedy usually brings out the best in all of us.


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