My family recently moved into a new neighborhood in Bountiful, Utah. We are in a bigger house now, the drive to work is much shorter, and we have lots of fruit trees. My wife and I made a lovely pie from our fresh backyard peaches on Sunday. I couldn’t be happier.
One thing that has pleasantly surprised me is just how warm and friendly our neighbors are. I feel like my family has received a very warm welcome into the local community. I have experienced this sense of hospitality in other places where I have lived, but never quite as strongly as in Bountiful. When we were moving in, my mother told me how happy she was for us, because “the people are so polite and courteous there.” I haven’t been disappointed.
I’ve lived in four different neighborhoods in Bountiful and the people have been friendly in each of them. This begs the question: Is this a trend, or a coincidence? Are the people of Bountiful really friendlier than in other places, and, if so, why?
My theories are thus:
- The low crime rate makes people feel safe opening up to others in the community.
- The homogeneity in religion, culture, and heritage help people feel at home with one another. People feel comfortable around people who are like them.
- The very family-oriented lifestyle here helps people to love one another.
- The slower pace of life makes people more relaxed and less in a hurry.
- The people here are older (Bountiful’s median age is 32 compared to Utah’s 27, making it the 9th oldest in the state), and old people are friendlier.
Or, perhaps I am just starry-eyed. It’s impossible to determine something like this quantitatively, so I think I will never know for sure. But of all the places I’ve lived in Utah, this place feels the most like Zion.