This I Believe

Robert - Buda, Texas
Entered on September 8, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I believe all people should experience other societies and cultures before making strong opinions of society in the United States; and if not too make an opinion, to broaden their horizons.

As a young child my parents dragged my brother and I halfway across the world. At the time it seemed a bit inconvenient. You know, I would have much rather been playing with my friends…or toys, whatever I was doing back then. See, since my mother is a photographer of architecture she couldn’t contain her love to just plain old American manufacturing. She really enjoys Latin American doors, staircases, and arches. Therefore, we traveled to Italy, Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and France in a span of about 5 years. My absolute most favorite thing to do, while we visited hundreds of small towns with more culture than you could shake a stick at, was play on my game boy (No Joke), but I did learn a lot about those other countries. Unfortunately it took me quite a while to realize it.

Now a day when I read about these journalists who completely bash the U.S. and what it stands for, I think back to the countries that had more pride in their society. It’s not about focusing on the negative points of what we have. It’s about the positive out look that rubs off and keeps societies, communities, and teams progressing.

In Italy, we were visiting during the “World Cup” (aka – the meaning of life at the time) and the Italians were going up against a really good team. They were predicted to, not just lose, but get their butts kicked. Every single Pizzeria, Locksmith and Grocery set up their 13” television set outside their store and had the entire block watching it. The major articles didn’t read “Italians don’t stand a chance”, they were positive; “Italians proceed to Semi-Finals! Only one step away!”

Being exposed to these countries also made me think about the way our society is always going, and getting something completed/finished/created/you name it we’re doing it. These other countries have always had a different vibe from the U.S. For reasons I can’t explain, the mind set is leaned more towards “It will get done, whether I do it now or in a day.” I’ve seen it time and time again, and every time I stop to take it in, I find myself glad to be in a country that is striving to do the best it can now.

Comparing our country to the others that occupy the world with it can give inspiration to those that know how to look for it and use it positively. It starts with forgetting the bad, looking forward to the good and appreciating what you have.