This is something that’s quite close to my heart, that “something” Is the good ole US of A. Its a place that’s fascinated me from my adolescence all the way up to my (alleged!) adulthood. And how people perceive it depending on their age, or perhaps their background or whatever, it all seems to change depending on circumstances.
This however is completely from my experiences and how it has developed from afar my interest and endearing appreciation for the united states.
It always begins during the school years, here is where you get your initial education about the rest of the world. Unfortunately it never gives a good idea about what the people are like, or anything of real substance, instead, just choosing to focus on the governments of the day etc. And of course without getting any real information, as a kid you automatically think every other country is not worth your time and that your own can do no wrong.
And i was no different to begin with, no one was better than us, we were the defacto number 1. Thankfully over time the blinkers wear off and you can take a cold hard look at your home, seeing it for all its faults and the positives too. This counts for others too, as you grow up you learn to appreciate other things, and this is when i decided to write a little (or probably large) appreciation piece on the united states because it doesn’t seem like enough gets said about it which is positive, or at least pieces that get written outside of the states don’t get written enough!
The absolute first thing I really love about the states are the can-do, overall positive approach to life. When comparing that to life here in England you cant help but see the contrast and see us as an absolutely miserable lot whose goal in life is to complain. I realize I’m generalizing a little bit, but this is from my own experience so this could change from person to person.
That can-do spirit however was made iconic by the American space program, performing an utterly gargantuan task of creating a space faring vehicle, one that could sustain human life inside it, and to not only get to the moon and land on it, but to get the astronauts back safely too. I believe this is as much of a human achievement as much as it was an American one too, but you still have to applaud the shear will and drive to pull off something so astounding, especially considering the technology of the time. Although another thing to think about is, considering our technology now is so much more advanced than what it was 50 odd years ago, why havent we made a bigger leap into space? I mean if we can do it with computers that are now dwarfed completely by our smart phones, then surely we could accomplish a whole lot more with far more powerful machines at our disposal?
I’m digressing somewhat, before I move on though I wanted to show you a YouTube clip from a BBC documentary called “James May At The Edge Of Space” It’s absolutely fascinating and it really puts some of my thoughts into context about that American can do attitude:
If you can find the documentary online then I heartily recommend It, It Is a brilliant watch and James May is the perfect host.
Switching notes a little bit here, I wanted to tell a short anecdote about when my Dad went to America to go hiking in the mountains with a team from the M.O.D ( I can’t quite remember the name of the expedition or the trail, but I’ll edit in the names when I find them.) After a couple of days he fell Ill with altitude sickness, thankfully he was airlifted back to hospital and he was ok, but the things that have always stood out in my mind was one of his friends hiking all the way back to get help (If memory serves me right it was a long way back.)
And after he got better, he was invited back to One of the American leaders house for dinner. To show that kind of hospitality to a stranger, to let him into his own home was astounding to hear about. I’m not sure I’ve ever come across such kindness here in England.
It is the people who make America a truly special place, you could say the real America Is It’s people rather than its government. As all of my American friends hold a special place in my heart, they are the nicest, kindest and most generous friends you could ever want. And to think, If I had remained close minded to the world, everything would have been a whole lot different for me, probably for the worst.
(Same goes for Canadians too as some of my best friends are Canadian too, I wouldn’t have felt right if i didn’t mention them 🙂
So If you as an American ever feel like the whole world is against you or whatever, just remember that you’re doing alright, It’s never as bad as It seems.
My dose of positivity for the day, I might write a 2nd part if i can figure out how to articulate my feelings better, but this’ll have to do for now 🙂
Hope you enjoyed it
P.S. Go Cowboys! 😉