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10 things Americans get wrong about America - an interesting read

http://qz.com/584215/10-things-americans-get-wrong-about-america/

Thought I would share this with you guys. I traveled to Europe for a 10 day study abroad trip when I was 19, and was shocked at the realization that America isn't all there is. I don't know why this surprised me so much, and the only reason I can come up with is the American ideal of ethnocentrism that we have here.

Also, the point on American paranoia struck me. This is why we have all these people chasing after Trump because for some reason everyone is so paranoid and Trump promises to "keep them safe" from all these things that are very small threats to us.

Re: 10 things Americans get wrong about America - an interesting read

  • I like this article, but I disagree with #4 that we're poor at expressing gratitude and affection. I especially disagree with the affection part. Americans tend to be some of the friendliest, kindest and affectionate people - physical touching is way more accepted in the USA than in other places of the world.

    It's funny though. DH and I are watching a video about Derek Prince. He was a well known preacher/evangelist of the last half century and he is Eaton and Cambridge educated and he's a King's Scholar in both schools. Anyway, he was British. And he said that the Brits had/have had a lot of national pride.

    I have traveled a lot internationally and it does seem that most people have a keen sense of patriotism to their homeland. People do tend to think that where they call home is the best and there is a tendency to see one's homeland as superior to other homelands. It's pretty normal.

    This article doesn't shock me. I think most nations' citizens have a lot of pride and egotism tied to their national ways and places.

  • For the most part, I actually didn't agree with this article at all.  Not so much the points he makes, but the assumption that "Americans get this wrong".  I was nodding with most of his points and was like, "yeah, duh, you really think that is what most Americans think?  You're wrong."  And then, some of his points, I didn't agree with at all.  Even after chewing on them and listening to his arguments.

    I don't think we are poor at expressing gratitude and affection.  But then I've never been exposed to any other culture, except Mexico.  So perhaps I just don't know any better.  But I think we are an appropriately affectionate culture.  In fact, when I've asked foreign friends the first words they think of when they think of an American stereotype, a word that has ALWAYS been used is "friendly".

    I also think we have a decent standard of living here.  Not the best.  But it is good, overall.  Though healthcare is one area where we drop the ball HARD.  It's top notch, but only if you can afford it.

    I'll give him paranoia.  I think that is literally the only point where he made an assumption about Americans that is right on.  But is paranoia wrong?  I'm not so sure.  Or is that just my cultural bias talking?  And for all his, "oh, look at all these cool foreign friendly people who meant me no harm"...is great until he is kidnapped in Mexico City and held for ransom by some drug cartel to whatever paper he is writing for at the time.  <<Paranoid>>

  • So that's minus 2 for "expressing gratitude and affection." I think people, Americans and foreignors can tell when people are being authentic. I don't know if this is just an American thing or if it's pretty average, but nearly everyone I see the conversation goes, "How are you!?" "Good. How are you?" "Good." This is not an authentic or meaningful conversation at all. I think this is what the author is saying, but again, I feel like this might not just be an American thing.

    And I think paranoia is OK...to an extant. The reason Trump is gaining so much support is because of our culture of blind paranoia. One of the top arguments pro-gun people are saying is that they need a gun to defend themselves. But studies widely show that gun owners are statistically far more likely to shoot themselves or family members by accident than to use a gun in self-defense.

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