Screenshot of my Stats Summaries page showing top country views for all time
(This content was originally published December 2014. Content Updated on July 4, 2016)
This post was originally published two years ago. I’m updating it today to dedicate it to Americans for two reasons: It’s America’s Independence Day and I want to celebrate the fine citizens of that country and pay homage to their history and independence achievement. Based on my blog stats, my American readers are also the top readers of all time of this blog since I started Rosegardens and Thorns six years ago.
I know there are some uncomplimentary things that can be said about every country, but that is not what my post is about. In every thing, in every country, we have good and bad. There is no utopia in this world.
Sometimes we need to hear a good news side of the stories. There’s enough evil in the world. The Best of . . . seeks to cast your attention to that goodness. My post will reflect an overall impression of the goodness of the country and its people; it doesn’t mean everyone in a country is that way. I’m going for patterns, not individuals. With me? Great. So here are my 10 Best Things I admire about America and Americans.
The Best Things about America and Americans
1. Big hearts. America is big, but so is its people’s heart. They didn’t acquire the label, ‘land of dreams’ by default. Americans are known to be kind and are generous to a fault. They are quick to share their wealth with their fellow man and are givers of second chances. America today is a huge melting pot of cultures because they have opened their shores and borders to those seeking refuge from persecution, enslavement and poverty in their homelands. Americans will readily break bread and give a person who is hungry. It’s not to say they are stupid, for just as how they quickly open their pockets, hearts and home to those in need; an injured America can pay forward swift and painful karma to those who abuse their generosity and loyalties.
2. You are Accountable. Although not a Bible-beating society today, Americans still govern their society against certain morals, values and standards and expect those who govern them to abide by these principles. For example, Americans decry lying and fraud, actions which many countries gloss over as a way of life. Children are taught early that lying and cheating have severe consequences. Americans will call you out for lying and cheating. If you are a public official, rest-assured Americans will not stop until you are impeached for your fraud.
3. Anti-corruption. In the same vein, America has built a business culture that prizes ethics and transparency. Corruption is not regarded, expected or tolerated of public figures and businesses. If the whistle blows and they’re caught with pants down, pants droppers will do what they know they ought to: resign. I know a few countries who could take a page from the Americans.
4. Happiness Custodians. The toughest of them are romantics and dreamers who will get teary-eyed and sniffly over a hurt dog, the underdog, unlikely heroes and Cinderella stories. It’s this ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ quality that makes them try to save the world. I believe Americans deem themselves happiness custodians. Which other country has rebranded customer service people as “happiness engineers” (Click to hear Pharrell Williams ‘Happy”)?
Because happiness is their truth, they have built dream castles like Hollywood and Disney land to give the world ‘escape’ through fantasy. Through television and cable, the world, including those of us in Third World countries can live our aspirations vicariously through the people behind the silver screens and take comfort that we are never alone in our human experiences. Through their movie and music industries and the moving picture, we on the other side of the screen can escape from our own harsh worlds to laugh, cry, empathise, fall in love with or despise our alter egos in heroes and stars for a brief moment before real world intervenes. But often, that break is enough to enervate and inspire us to keep on moving and surviving our own real life dramas.
5. Literacy a Prized commodity. They acknowledge and push literacy and education as the pillows of societal advancement. Books and reading are prized commodities and heirlooms in the homes of most American families. Their Publishing industry is the most thriving in the world. Authors are celebrities in that country; you can actually make a living from writing in America where a book in the hand is worth more than a gold nugget. There are no cobwebs in public or home libraries because book worms are always lurking there. The American reading habit is one I most covet for my home country.
6. Can’t take their rights. Americans know and take their rights seriously and will fight against any breach or threat to those rights. Misfits and animals have rights in that country and Americans expect the world to follow suit. Once you are an American citizen you can claim and enjoy the same rights. I admire how American consumers from all social backgrounds clan up to boycott any unreasonable increases in prices. The consumer is respected in that country, and it is so because they value their hard-earned money, their right to eat healthy, to choose, to vote and be taken seriously, and they demand and exercise these rights to keep their capitalists and leaders in check.
7. Kids rule the Kingdom. They value and regard children as vulnerable and must be protected by the state. I love the public outrage at those who seek to hurt children. They do not hide them. Justice is swift for pedophiles and abusers; even parents have to watch themselves as they could be hauled before a court for neglect or abuse if they spank their kids, something Americans have come under criticism for from those who believe that parents are the kings, not kids and who take it for granted that kids should be seen and not heard. Wise move or foolish move, love them or hate them for their ‘kids rule’ philosophies, it’s still heart-warming that children’s rights are still largely protected in America.
8. Free Press. Without a free press, there really is no freedom. I love the gusto and the bravado with which the American press tackles issues. They dig and dig deep. They are like little moles and mosquitoes. They will come up with something and anything that is in the woodwork. They build careers and will break them the next minute as those who have been granted stewardship of public trust and admiration find out as soon as they begin to behave like demigods. In essence, the press in America are doing what the people trust them to do: keep public stewards and celebrities accountable and minding their p’s and q’s in the interest of the public. I believe the American press has kept Americans free.
9. Free Speech. Americans are vocal and opinionated. Just as the press is free, so is speech. The two go hand in hand as the press gives voice to this free speech and we see and hear it in the myriad of tv and radio talk shows all over the country. Is there a thing as too much free speech? Americans haven’t heard of it.
10. Free Internet. From their living room, the ordinary Joe/Jane can communicate with the globe through the internet which, thank God, has remained free to date (knock on wood). America has made the globe smaller because of the gift of the Internet. It’s this reason that has enabled me to write this post and know that when I hit ‘Publish’ I become an author, enabled with the authority and the power vested in me by my readers to influence and inspire, educate and adjudicate on subjects of my choice. That I can stay in my country and be read by people from parts of the globe I’ve never even visited is simply amazing and humbling. The invention of the Internet has opened up communication platforms which have torn down socialist and communist walls and given franchise to opportunities to peoples and generations that never dreamed it could happen, and I thank inventive Americans for their role in that.
I also thank Wordress for the free platform that is enabling and realising the dreams of indie writers who would otherwise be still writing in parchment diaries stifled by a social order once determined and dominated by the publishing bourgeoisie.
To pay my respects to all my Americans readers and show some more country love, here’s to The Star-Spangled Banner. (Video)
One last word for my American readers, before you go, would you kindly click on the link below? Remember to click the back arrow to come right back. Just wanna say….
Thanks for being my friend Pikachu. (Credit: multitudeofgifs.tumblr.com)