I’ve been writing on Quora a lot lately. There are people from all over the world on that site. Many of them have a few things to say about Americans and America, that aren’t very nice.
One Brit ticked me off so much the other day, I decided to take it to the streets. Or my blog as the case may be.
I’m going to start listing reasons to be proud of being an American. Anyone who wishes may contribute and I’ll add their reasons.
- Americans don’t really care if you think you’re all that.
I read an interesting sentence once in a book, probably written in the ’60s.
It was a thought formulated by the character in the book between flights while he was people watching at an international airport. He watched the crowds and thought:
‘The British walk as if they own the earth; the French walk as if they know they don’t own the earth; and Americans walk as if they don’t care who owns the earth.’
Maybe that’s our advantage, depending of course, on where in the social spectrum we were born, because we have those spectrums, too. It’s in our attitude, which many in the world think is one of arrogance.
If you look at some of the writings from WWII, there’s surprise at the attitude and demeanor of American soldiers in Europe. Their uniforms were wrinkled and ill-fitting, and they didn’t give a damn about spit and polish. They were casual, and walked around like they ‘didn’t care who owned the earth.’
Nazi and Japanese soldiers were the opposite. They almost achieved world domination by being who they were- obedient servants to authority.
We aren’t even designated by the article ‘the’ in front of the word American. We’re just ‘American.’ And that has come to mean many different things, because we’re made up of many different people. We can’t be pigeonholed, even though foolish people try.
When people talk about ‘Americans’ in a disparaging way, as if we’re all the same, are they talking about a teacher in Des Moines? An attorney in Houston? A dock worker in New York? A homemaker in Los Angeles? A cattle rancher in Montana? A retiree in Miami? A WalMart worker in Portland? An airplane mechanic in Seattle?
Nope. We can’t be pigeonholed.
That may be our advantage.