While recently completing the book “Caught in the Middle” by Richard Longworth, I was struck by his statement that people in the Midwest feel the effects of globalization, but they do not understand the implications of this fast changing world. His statement leads me to offer this section called Midwest Mindset: Why the Midwest must Understand and Apply the Effects of Globalization.
I am not an expert on globalization, but I am a researcher, writer, world traveler and was born and raised in the Midwest. I was born in a rural area of Ohio, in farming country. I attended a small school by comparison that had both urban and rural values connected with it. I came to be an urban dweller in my college and adult days in a city handcuffed by the dying auto industry and other hard manufacturing. I was a human resource director in a city where the unemployment was over 22% at the height of the auto industries’ move from the community. That residual mindset, consequence, and pain still lingers to this day.
I have a Midwestern perspective, but it has been challenged and excited by my reading, research and world travel. I have traveled to India a number of times, taught in Mexico a number of years, traveled in Israel and Egypt, and have experienced some of the beautiful cities of Europe. These travels have provoked me to think about the Midwest and Longworth’s comments.
This section is offered as an opportunity for me to challenge myself and to challenge you to think about the application of globalization on the Midwest. There is a Midwest Mindset that does prevail. It can be helpful, but it can also be a detriment to the future of this region. In the writing I share here, I want to share my thoughts as a Midwesterner about things that are effecting and making this the right region for globalization but at the same time creating barriers that will keep us from participating in a very different world.
I hope the writing of Midwest Mindset sparks your own thinking and maybe debate in your own life or with others. It is not meant to be the gospel truth, but it is meant to awaken the reader to the issues facing us in the Midwest and a challenge to be brave and walk confidently into the future.