I am noticing a difference in attitude here in the central valley among the people I have encountered doing their jobs. There is an old-fashioned American-style graciousness that I have noticed has been lacking recently in Southern California, even in the small town of Ojai. People greet you when you walk in their door, even in the corporate places like FedEx. They don't do that in the Ventura FedEx office. Folks say hello in passing, just like in the "old" days in Ojai. Sure, there are just as many people engrossed in their laptops and phones, but they actually look up and nod or say hello once in awhile - it is spooky as much as it is remarkable.
My friend muses that it has to do with population density and the stress resulting from that condition - think Rat Race. I feel it has more to do with the infection of Los Angelization, which grows uglier all the time. Simple courtesy gets shrugged at, with suspicion, "Why are you being nice, what are you expecting from me?" We have forgotten how to interact with kindness.
I am appreciating the difference.