There is a category of things you "learn" from travel or other experience that you simply weren't aware of before. Example: it is obvious once you travel around in the Dakotas that they really should have been two states -- but East and West Dakota, not North and South. And that the political dividing line should have been what is also the natural and geological and climate-zone divider, the Missouri River, which in that part of the country runs largely north-south. Obvious once you see it, but something I had not thought about before.
A different kind of learning involves things you already "knew" but whose implications and importance you had not really absorbed. One more of these reminders from Holland, Michigan is the crucial impact on civic culture of locally based wealth.
To sum up that impact: a lot of what is successful, resilient, and attractive about this town seems directly connected to the fact that many of its significant companies are locally owned or locally headquartered, rather than sub-units of big global corporations.
Of course everybody knows that family- and personally owned businesses can behave differently from publicly traded firms. For the big corporations, it is a compliment rather than a criticism to say that ultimately they care most about dividend growth and "maximizing shareholder value." Toward that end layoffs, outsourcing, cost-cutting, cheese-paring, union-busting -- you name it, and if it can arguably lead to greater long-run corporate profitability, then by definition it is what management should do.