Things I love about America*
- Free, drinkable water
- Freedom of speech
- The fact that the term "American" doesn’t refer to an ethnic group.
- Friendliness. Maybe Americans don’t really care if I have a nice day, but artificial politeness is better than authentic contempt.
- The fact that you can believe that someone is going to heck, but still be friends.
- Libraries. Libraries are the best.
- Public education. (I know the money could probably be spent more efficiently. However, it says something positive about Americans that every American child, no matter their background, is deemed worthy about $8,000 a year. For what it’s worth, I liked school.)
- The theory that everybody is created equal.
- National parks.
- How there are “national dialogues” about everything.
- Stephen Colbert.
* Not in order of importance, and not in comparison with any other country. I also love other countries.
Things I’ve learned from America
- English. I'm always told I still have an accent, but I have a sneaky suspicion that I just talk weird.
- How to respect someone’s religion or political views when they are very wrong. Disliking someone’s political or religious beliefs is similar to disliking someone’s significant other/children. It’s fine to think it, but it’s not fine to say it. They won't thank you for your insightful criticism. Instead they will be hurt/angry because people invest a lot of their love/self-worth/life into their beliefs/significant other/children. People are strange like that.
- It’s okay to complain about America if, deep down, you love America.
- Most Americans don't know where Holland is, but it won't stop them from guessing. (See rule number three)
- Americans are cool. (Especially Charlotte/Madeline, future American! Congratulations!!!)