According to 24-hour news cycles and the echoing chamber of the internet, America looks like a racist, dangerous, entitled country that loves its bigotry and guns. While that’s an unfortunate truth in some parts and some people, America is much bigger than the stereotype we wear.
America the Beautiful
Beautiful terrains, delicious foods, and good-hearted, caring, and friendly people are everywhere. After someone asked an online community what the best things about America were, here are some things many Americans take for granted.
1. The “Anything Is Possible Mentality.”
A European confesses they appreciate the “Anything is possible mentality.” They elaborate that they believe Europeans get stuck in old ways while Americans break free from traditions. Finally, they note, “The Americans are fearless in putting pineapple on pizza, whereas you would be chased out of Naples for trying such a thing.
2. The Food
Because America is a melting pot of different ethnicities, it has the best food in the world. One notes that the most authentic and delicious cuisine comes from some of the dirtier, broken-down, hole-in-the-wall places. Another basks in the joy of having Italian one night, Thai another, and Mexican all week long.
3. The Opportunities
If you don’t like where you live in America, you can pick up and move all over the country to accommodate different climates, terrains, laws, and salaries. America has deserts, beaches, mountains, and forests. You can live in the middle of nowhere or congregate in big cities. One elaborates, “The breadth of the American experience is significant and not something you’ll find in many other countries.”
4. The 1st Amendment
The 1st Amendment is that marvelous thing that allows us to get together in large groups and badmouth our corrupt political leaders. Many drew attention to that not being the case worldwide. Some countries will imprison you, or worse, for speaking ill of their leaders.
Many Americans don’t appreciate that Americans can choose to say or not say almost anything without repercussion. Someone shares, “As an immigrant from CCP’s China: The rule of law is the number one thing that gives you a sense of security.”
5. The Public Libraries Infrastructure
Finally, many appreciate the Public Libraries Infrastructure. Public libraries are one of the only places you can go in with no money and spend hours being entertained. In addition to books, many libraries have audiobooks, music, movies, and 3D printers; some even have musical instruments and tools to check out.
6. The National and State Parks
America has some of the most spectacular landscapes imaginable, and the state and national parks encompass this beautifully. In addition, many of the state parks and beaches are accessible for little to no fees. The national parks have annual passes for $80. However, that’s a lifetime pass for seniors. Annual passes are $0 for them. Additionally, military and people with permanent disabilities have lifetime free admission.
7. The Americans With Disabilities Act
The Americans With Disabilities Act features the best handicap-accessibility protection in the world. One notes that people with disabilities can enter any commercial building and find ramps where needed to access restrooms that include more easily accessible stalls for those who use wheelchairs.
Another user recommends Crip Camp on Netflix. It’s a fascinating documentary on the disabled civil rights movement and the woman who pushed for it, Judy Heuman.
8. The Diversity
America is a diverse country enriched with cultures from all over the world. One of the greatest parts of immigrating to America is that you are an American after going through the steps to naturalize as a citizen. However, one notes it’s not the same elsewhere. For example, going through the same process to naturalize as a citizen in Japan will never make you Japanese.
9. The Friendliness
Several people from European countries agree that Americans are friendly, and not all of them are fond of small talk or cheery chit-chat. However, others argue they appreciate it. For example, an ex-pat in Germany says he misses how friendly Americans are. Another user shares that a German guy in his office always mentions “how chipper and happy people act here.”
10. The Entertainment
Entertainment is something the U.S. does right. One asks, “Want to go to a show? The U.S. has you covered regardless of how niche your taste is.” Another adds they appreciate how the shows vary by cities that host their own specialties.
For example, in Tucson, Arizona, they give the high school four days off for “Rodeo Break.” A Louisianan explains that the Friday before the opening weekend of squirrel season was an excused absence. “If that’s not redneck, then I don’t know what is.”
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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.