It seems that a lot of Asheville residents have strong opinions as to what our city should be and the types of people who should live here. I cringe to see the occasional “Keep Asheville Weird” and “Don’t Move Here” bumper stickers. Who among us can claim the rights to any place, really?
The boundary lines that contain our cities, states and countries are arbitrary human inventions. As we are now a mobile society, not everyone chooses to remain in their place of birth. For those of you whose family did not settle WNC three generations ago, how did you feel when you moved here? Were you welcomed by the existing community? I was and have thrived here because of it.
I also hear many complaints about tourists. As a commission-based employee of a small downtown business, my income is equally dependent on local residents and visitors. Let’s welcome this boost to our economy instead of biting the hand that feeds us! And let’s not forget what it feels like to be a tourist in a new city and how we would wish to be received by the locals. How fortunate are we to live in a place beautiful enough for someone’s vacation!
Growth and expansion are a necessary part of a vital life; resistance is futile. Asheville’s reactions to growth serve as a reminder of how much human beings dislike change, even the “weird” ones.