If you don’t love California you’d better have some experience of it

March 8, 2021

“There have always been idiots,” my husband said on our morning walk. “But until the advent of social media, they’ve never had a platform.”

We were discussing some of the crazy (and what would have once been considered completely ridiculous) ideas that have taken hold among a certain segment of our society.

love-CaliforniaThe latest hot button subject for me is the trashing of my state, California, on social media….by people who have no first-hand experience living here or even visiting. None. It’s not that they don’t love California that bothers me. It’s that they opine without any basis for their opinion.

Why is that?

Trash-talking my state is one of Faux News’ favorite talking points. So their followers enjoy calling it a “shit-hole” and “socialist.” Never mind that they never been here. They know because Faux News tells them.

This past winter I was at our second home in western New York and heard the same story about the homeless taking over San Francisco streets –repeatedly–from various Faux News followers who have never set foot in the city. That’s what they are told, that’s what they parrot back.

Now, I am well aware that our state has its issues. But if you’re going to call it out, at least have some personal experience with it. Because here’s what my actual personal experience over almost 40 years in the Bay area of California tells me:

Open minds, open hearts

I love the way Californians I know are open to new ideas. Technology, social issues, politics–an open mind is a beautiful thing to see. People care. Our people do not believe in caging children. Our people often do not believe in the death penalty. At our best, we are a heart-centered state.

Diverse natural beauty

From Big Sur to Yosemite to Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara…from Muir Woods to cable cars to world-class museums north and south…from the ski slopes of Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada to the beaches of San Diego…and so much more. It’s a stunning state.

Economic strength

We are the 5th largest economy in the world. In the world!

Creative and intellectual power

From Silicon Valley to Hollywood, from City Lights Bookstore to Berkeley, the state’s creative and intellectual power can’t be overstated.

I love California. With all its imperfections, it’s still the most amazing place I’ve ever been and certainly the best place I’ve ever lived. So if you want to insult it, make sure you have some actual personal experience with it. Otherwise? You have no right to opine.

11 comments on “If you don’t love California you’d better have some experience of it
  1. This is good advice for throwing out opinions about ANYTHING or ANY PLACE! Thanks for sharing, Carol.

  2. Paula Kiger says:

    I’m neutral only because I haven’t been yet. I’m pretty sure I’d find many things to love though!

  3. It’s been a shock to me (brought to light by social media) just how many people spit out “information” about anyone and anything without any clear knowledge of the subject. It’s so easy, with the internet, to just do a little research on any subject, so there’s no excuse other than ignorance.

  4. laurie stone says:

    I love California! I also notice many of the people endlessly chanting “USA #1!” have never been out of this country.

  5. Diane says:

    So many of us want to just hear something and react. Instead of doing the responsible thing and research. React instead of act. It’s a sobering truth of the media-heavy world we live in.
    We get the cutting edge of people’s tongues all the time for our ‘dirty oil’ here in Alberta. And how awful Albertans must be. But have any of those people come up here and observed the operations? Do they realize that those operations are on Canadian soil, but all owned and operated by US companies?
    Ignorance speaks loudly and by so doing, reveals itself. (Huh. I just came up with that, but I like it!)
    I’m so sorry for the ignorance that has lashed out at you and your beautiful state! BTW, I’ve visited California twice and fell totally, TOTALLY in love with it!

  6. Alana says:

    People and their opinions…like about New York State. Those who think it’s all urban rot with unfriendly people and have never been anywhere in the state is what can drive me wild. A former co worker (now retired) had a daughter living out in California (one of the wildfires finally drove her out and back to New York State) and has been to California, including San Francisco, several times. There’s a lot she loved about California, especially the farmers markets, the green attitude of those she met, and more. I’ve only been there once (San Diego for a week, back in 1996). I would love to “go back” one day and see the rest of the state. Now that I am retired and only working part time, I’d like to make it happen. And for more than a week.

  7. I love California! It’s got everything including beautiful weather. I get sick of people making fun of it and those who want to recall our governor who has been working his butt off during some impossible situations.

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