Is the American Way the Only Way?

This post originally appeared on the Unprofessionals blog. It is written by a college student, Hannah Fain, who is a friend of mine. This fits in very well with my travel blog, as it is bringing up some thoughts about how Americans are perceived overseas, and the arrogance that some Americans show. Here is the post.
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American Pride: The Good and the Bad

The concept of taking pride in your country is never a bad one; I believe that everyone should feel like they can be proud of where they came from. However, there has been a shift in our culture recently towards this mindset of a more extreme form of U.S. pride; a mindset that is less about being proud to live in a nation that has overcome hardships and adversity and more about how we, as Americans, do things the “right way.” Undeniably, the United States is one of the world’s leading nations in industry and innovation. We pride ourselves on this concept of “the American dream,” characterized by equal opportunity for anyone and everyone to obtain a happier, richer, and fuller life.

My personal opinion is that so many times we are caught up in this idea that the American way is the only way, and that it is always the best. It is so tempting to fall into the mindset, and while I believe in US pride as much as the next person, I do think it can quickly escalate to an attitude that does not communicate respect for other nations. I think we need to stop and remember that as a country and as individuals, the decisions we make and how we choose to act on them affect other people. We affect significantly more people than we will ever know.
“the American dream,” characterized by equal opportunity for anyone and everyone to obtain a happier, richer, and fuller life.

One of the worst things when I’m visiting another country is to hear the stereotypes of Americans that they have. The common conception of Americans that I hear, helped by media and American movies, is that we’re all rich, spoiled brats that don’t care about our families and never have to worry about money or food. “the American dream,” characterized by equal opportunity for anyone and everyone to obtain a happier, richer, and fuller life.

We cannot always control other people’s opinions of us. However, we can choose how we view other cultures and people. What if, instead of attempting to change everyone to be more “American,” we learned more about other people’s cultures and what makes them special? What if we helped them protect that? It all really goes back to what I believe is one of the most glaring shortcomings in our society: this prideful tendency to think we are better than everyone else. This happens on a personal basis, as well as on a community, state, country, and cultural scale. It is happening everywhere, constantly. I think what is important to remember is that there is no one “correct” culture. “the American dream,” characterized by equal opportunity for anyone and everyone to obtain a happier, richer, and fuller life.

So here’s my challenge: don’t shy away from people just because they’re different than you. Whether you get the opportunity to travel outside the United States or not, there are people all around us that come from different parts of the world. We’re all different, even if we look very similar from the outside. Embrace differences, different cultures, different languages, different customs. Differences are what makes life so full.

What do you think? Do you have examples where Americans always think they are right, but there is just a culture difference, and it really doesn’t matter?

Also see: WHAT? How Did They Know I Was an American?

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Art Cars Chattanooga 2015

A short weekend relaxing trip to Chattanooga had me trottin’ by the Art Cars tailgating and staging area for the parade. The parade and contest allow contestants show their art in the form of a car, van, truck, golf cart or bike. The prizes are a cash award to a school that needs help in their art program, in the name of the art car winner. My survey of the tailgating area showed a variety of themes, and means of transportation.

Click on the picture below if you need to enlarge. This is a FAQ written by Alan “Evil” Miller about his Some Kind of a Bat Car.

FAQ on Kinda Bat Car

FAQ on Kinda Bat Car

Kudos to all the artists who entered, and the good cause it was going to. I don’t know the results of the contest. If anyone does, feel free to let us know in the comment section below.

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Palace Malice … Will He Race in 2015?

It was a frosty January morning in Aiken, South Carolina. My brother and sister-in-law, Don and Cindy Soule, invited us to go watch Palace Malice, the 2013 Belmont Stakes winner, do his morning exercise at his stable. There were other nice looking horses with their trainers and jockeys sprinkling onto the track. Then Palace Malice made his appearance with his pace horse. Palace Malice’s jaunty stride and the flip of his head made us feel he knew we were there just to see him.

If he wasn’t being held back by the pace horse and trainer, he would have taken off at full speed right away. He seemed to be saying, “let me go, let me go”!

Palace Malice and pace horse

Palace Malice and pace horse


After pacing the track Palace Malice was ready for a little run. My husband, caught him with this short video.

Tom Soule, Linda Solander, Kathleen Couch (me), and Daren Couch at Dogwood  Stable

Tom Soule, Linda Solander, Kathleen Couch (me), and Daren Couch at Dogwood
Stable


We saw him at Dogwood Stables in Aiken, South Carolina. In 2014 he suffered bone bruising and his retirement was announced. After that a 50% share ownership was purchased by Three Chimneys Farm. Since then it has been announced that he would take time off for healing, but would possibly race again in 2015. After that he would be out to stud, and will be owned in full ownership by Three Chimneys Farm. His earnings so far are $2,686,135.

After watching Palace Malice we ate at the stables at the iconic Track Kitchen. They serve good breakfast food. But something unique is, you go into the kitchen to get your own coffee!

Track kitchen at Dogwood Stables

Track kitchen at Dogwood Stables

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Good News Stories of 2014

Bad news is always what makes headlines. But there are lots of “good news” stories out there. Here are just a few of them.

Pilot buys pizza for passengers in compensation for delay.

Pilot buys pizza for passengers in compensation for delay.


When storms caused a flight delay for Frontier Airlines 719 from Washington DC’s Reagan National Airport to Denver, Colorado to divert to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and had to wait for several hours. Captain Gerhard Bradner used his personal account to order 35 pizzas for those on board. See the full story here: href=”http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/10955623/Pilot-orders-pizza-for-delayed-passengers.html”>

The next story is like finding a needle in a haystack!
Woman Is Reunited With Late Mother’s Ring 55 Years After Mysterious Plane Crash
The woman’s parents died in a small plane crash 55 years ago. A logger found the ring quite some time ago, and had been trying to find the family to give it to. The ring was presented this year to a New Jersey woman, the daughter of the couple who had died. See the full story here: href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/05/lost-wedding-ring-plane-crash-_n_6277612.html”>

Sick Man Makes ‘Complete Turnaround’ After Hospital Reunites Him With Cherished Dog An elderly man was hospitalized and his dog sent to the animal shelter. Both quit eating. The hospital staff in Corbin, Kentucky went above and beyond their duty and reunited the two. Both started eating again and became much better. The full story is here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/17/dying-man-reunited-dog-bubba-turnaround_n_6003486.html

Customers Buy Car For Beloved Bagel Shop Employee Shirley Ratliff took 3 buses every day to get to work at Bruegger’s Bagel shop. When customer, David Burton started collecting funds from other customers to buy a car for her, he found it easier than he thought. She was presented with a car just last week. Here is the full story:
href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/30/customers-buy-car-for-bagel-shop-worker_n_6391214.html”>

When you comment below, feel free to add other stories along this line.

It is my wish for you to have a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year! And because my core belief is that you will not have true happiness without Jesus, here is the most well known Bible verse in the world. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV Decide on this, because tomorrow could be too late!

Globe Trottin Granny

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Guitars, Boots and Music

I’m talking about Nashville of course. Music City! The place where every aspiring songwriter and performer alike, especially in the country music arena, want to be.

Our visit to Nashville was the length of 3 days, and we packed in as much as we could.

The highlights were the Bluebird Cafe, Grand Ole Opry two nights for two different type of programs, walking around the streets where the “action” is on Saturday, perusing Vanderbilt University, and eating at 4 famous and highly recommended places.

My next posts will be highlighting more about this city, culture, and places. But for now here are a couple pictures.
Printer's Alley

Nashville Photo by Kathleen Couch

Nashville Photo by Kathleen Couch

Globe Trottin Granny

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