Tonight I watched a couple episodes of a TV series called The Outsiders. It’s a story about “a family of outsiders who’ve lived off the land in the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky for as long as anyone can remember.” (per IMDB). It’s about mountain men and mountain women and fighting for the land and each other.
I know it’s made for TV and all, but it gave me a glimpse of yet another group outside of society that make their own rules and laws. Almost as if they live on another planet. In another galaxy.
It makes me realize how sheltered a life I’ve led. Not only are there all kinds of societies and tribes and ways of life so different from my own, but thousands of stories in the history of the world behind me.
We learn about the Civil War in school; we learn about Napoleon Bonaparte and Julius Caesar and the World Wars. Which we should.
But what about all the rest of the world and their ways and their styles? What do people outside of modern society do with their time? Their days and nights? What are their beliefs, their rituals?
These “hillbillies” on this show are only a few steps removed from everyday life. They come to town to get supplies, steal things like guns and beer, and get notices from the government to vacate their land.
But what do they do that’s totally different from what we we are familiar with? How do they court and dance and work the land? What do they believe?
The library, the internet, provides all the information you need to take a trip in time to other worlds right here on your own planet.
Explore other cultures, other beliefs, other societies. Read books and articles from people who have either experienced or inherited this lore. Think of the insight they could provide.
Learning about other cultures, other histories, other ways can open your mind in ways you never thought. And that kind of knowledge is powerful.
It is fun to wonder where we could have gone if we had taken the left path instead of the right. Climbed down the mountain instead of walked around it. Our lives could have been so different.
We could all have been hillbillies.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.