Radiation of Affinity

It's natural and even admirable to adore the place you live. We all should. But there seems a need among us to see little beyond our town, our stomping grounds, our own domain.

And that is the crux. We see those from elsewhere as outsiders, some more outside than others. It's like ripples of familiarity spreading out; the further away, the less familiar and the more threatening.

At the center is your home, family and neighborhood. These are the places and people we hold dear without question. What's ours is theirs and so on.

On the first ring out you have the neighborhood's rivals, the kids you play ball against in little league. They're just like you, but different, from an ever-so-slightly alternate place.

On the second ring you've got the folks from another region within the state, the Upstate or the Lowcountry, perhaps. They are more different still, but only in shades of homogeneity. They hang out in completely different places, although they've probably checked out your spots, as you've likely visited theirs.

On the third ring are the out-of-staters, the residents of other states altogether, but still within your region. Now these folks are truly strange because they wave a completely different flag, eat slightly different food, and have likely never been to your hometown.

On the fourth ring you have people from different regions of the country entirely. Think of a Yankee bark surrounded by Southern drawls. So clashing that violence might erupt from the sheer distrinction in carriage and expression. Forget historical resentment.

Is it any wonder why folks in other countries don't stand a chance? They are living in perpetual night to us, barbarians at the gates, just waiting for us to slip up, to let our guard down, to overwhelm us with there... differences.