Disclaimer: I chose to write about The US particularly in this post because: The influential prowess of the eagle is undeniable. They are masters of social media and hence, trendsetters to the world. We must learn and adopt from them whatever is right and be indifferent to the rest. (Or crib about it).
Now, now, I come from a (rapidly) developing middle-income country, so would it be hypocrisy if I commented on the Global superpower? It may be but I’m going to do it anyways as I have formed my own sweet opinion about this country I haven’t even visited, from my kin and kith living there, my virtual friends and from this great nation’s citizens that I’ve met in my country and elsewhere. Even in decades, my country may not be able to reach the pedestal that they are in at the moment, but there are things I want the world, particularly my country to learn from the majestic eagle.
To learn: Enabling Innovation through capitalism
The federal government has no control over privately owned businesses and properties and does not own corporations. Freedom, choice and free enterprise are constitutionally protected, which means that the government takes privacy seriously in privately owned entities. In many other countries, the government has the right and power to inspect, intervene in or take down private buildings and businesses for various reasons. Capitalism can lead to encouragement of innovation, a way forward in terms of wealth-generating and economic growth. No wonder most MNCs, social media sites, streaming sites and other innovative services trace their origins to the land of the free.
To unlearn: Intervening unnecessarily in Foreign affairs
And it never ends well for them. The Vietnam war, Afghan war (not a single one but a series of wars in which the Global superpower has intervened since times immemorial, which in my opinion “invited” the terrorist attacks), World War-II attacks in Japan (although this did end well for them, The Hiroshima Nagasaki attacks were a terrible display of violence that affected innocent common men), etc.. Undeniably, they have quite a notorious penchant for brutal wars.
To learn: Respect, Recognition and Validation for all occupations
In Asia, you’re either an engineering graduate or a doctor or a disappointment. There ARE people in other occupations ofcourse, but they are regarded with much less respect unless they occupy a very senior, pivotal role in their job. It is almost always a norm to study science or commerce. Arts are seen as a disgrace. This is singlehandedly responsible for most of the mass-migration to the US, where a teacher is as respected as an IT expert, and an IT expert as much as a scientist. Oh, don’t get me started about scientists! Most people who want to work in a field relevant to their field of study head to the US because it is almost impractical to do so in Asian countries. Neither government nor private institutions fund or encourage research. You will remain underpaid and unrecognised for sending a Satellite to Mars but you will be supported (and worshiped) for grasping a high-paying IT job. Atleast so in India.
To unlearn: Healthcare “business”
Health and education are fundamental requirements to all living beings. It is unlawful (not from political laws, but from moral laws) to turn service into business as seems to be the case in the US. For a country where most people go from rags to riches, that is quite… inconsiderate. Forget healthcare, everything is overpriced in the US. But this tops the cake. Insurance does not cover enough in serious cases. I recently saw a YouTube video of British people (who receive free public health care by the way) reacting to the price of healthcare facilities in the US. They were flabbergasted, needless to say. So was I, a viewer. Based on actual math, for the price it takes to get a simple X-ray scan in the US, you can buy a ticket to India, take an X-ray and even buy a return ticket! People actually do this by the way. My school is right next to a famous hospital and I see a lot of exotic faces- white, black, Arab, etc.. Ofcourse, your medical tourism is great, but only affordable to billionaires.
To learn: Acceptance of diversity
This has to be my favourite. Tolerance is different from acceptance. Many nations are tolerant, but not necessarily accepting. I’m always amazed at how the US is an amalgamation of people from different parts of the world and varied cultures, who migrated in hopes of better future and together, created a strong economy and an accepting, accommodative society. Nobody has to be silent and you are accepted with open arms for what you are. It’s heartwarming to see people of different races, sexualities, religions, political views and education levels support and love each other all the same. That is the whole essence of being human. The face of secularism. Now, before you correct me on this by emphasising on how many racist, colourist, homophobic folks there are, I should like to ask you: Where are they not?
To unlearn: Too much racial consciousness and sugar coating
“This is wonderful, but you really shouldn’t have…” is American for the German, Chinese or Indian “This is awful!”. I’ve never heard of or come across Americans who call a spade a spade. They are always very conscious of offending the listener, specifically the whites when in conversation with “people of colour”. They put so much effort into trying not to appear racist and it’s always very visible that they’re TRYING HARD. I understand that it’s mostly because we have this certain judgement regarding the whites, that they may still possess their ancestors’ white superiority complex, which in many cases is true. Trying hard and being all conscious prove exactly that.
There is another point I wish to add about this: Is the land of the free REALLY the land of the free? In quite a few cases, I think not.
Now, here’s a fun question: Who even thought of the term “people of colour”? It’s a ludicrous term with a bizarre definition! (Now, it’s NOT offensive, I just find it illogical) Given that we “people of colour” (Non-Europeans like us Asians, Africans, native Americans, etc..) form the largest population of the world and occupy the largest continents in the planet, shouldn’t whites be called “people of no colour”?
(No offence intended, just curious. 😉)