Most people living in my particular Bubble are very well educated. Several are professors at UVU or BYU. Many of them have lived in foreign countries. Several have experienced things in their families such as adoption (including international adoption), gay children, suicide, drug problems, service missions, inactivity, death, twins (some triplets!), working mothers, single parenthood, marathons, migraines, Depression, hostility towards the LDS Church (by family members and even neighbors), travel, and infertility. The irony is that I'm only thinking about the people who live within a four block radius of my house. The people who live in my ward boundaries.
I grew up in a Bubble full of Jack Mormons (i.e. people who pick and choose which parts of the Gospel they'll believe and live, while ignoring the other parts and assuming they are still super awesome in the Church), I've lived in the BYU Bubble, I've lived in this Bubble, and I've lived in California. What I find interesting, though, is that I did, in fact, live in a "Bubble" in California, too. The difference, dear reader, was that I created that Bubble.
We were the only members of the Mormon faith for three blocks. In our cul de sac, we had one family that hated us and wouldn't even acknowledge our existence because of our religion. We never saw them in person. Another family, after months and months, finally let our children play with our kids --and then I realized it was because they were hoping we would convert to their religion. Some neighbors were just plain fantastic and religion was never a problem for either of us!
Our neighborhood was very safe. We chose that location on purpose. The school had good parental involvement and great teachers --another reason we chose our location. We went out of our way to find a good place to live. The women I associated with daily tended to be in my ward and stake. I found myself defending my family and religion in public places quite often (we had four children and that was just insane!). Pretty soon I realized I was protecting my family from "the world" while also living "in the world."
Utah gets a lot of flak from Mormons who live outside of the state for being "The Bubble," for being weird, for being... well, frankly, for being who they are! Any time you have a saturation of a particular population you will always have communities that tend to cater to that particular population. Bible Belt, anyone? Saudi Arabia? Spain? Utah Mormons (especially Utah Valley Mormons) have been the butt of many jokes by the more enlightened LDS community who have "wisely" moved out of Utah.
I think it's kind of funny. Because most of the jokes are coming from people who haven't lived here since they were kids. Or college. Or ever. And they don't even realize that they have, themselves, created their own "Bubbles" in which to protect their families. They watch carefully what comes into their homes. They take their kids to Church and teach them about respect and charity and love. They have house rules. They go to the Temple. They teach their kids the Gospel in their homes. They do missionary work. They are, as Jesus asked them to be, a "light unto the world."
So you see, we are all living in our own "Bubbles." I just happen to live in the bigger one because my neighbors tend to think like I do. And even though it may sometimes lack in diversity religion-wise, it's really not as bad as people think. In fact, most of the time, it's pretty awesome!
Do you live in the Utah Bubble? What do you love or hate about it? Have you created your own Bubble where you live? How?