Arrogance in our Nation

Joshua - Swansboro, North Carolina
Entered on October 15, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: respect
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

As I was watching “The Amazing Race” on Sunday night, I saw the teams were in Brazil. Now, I know a few people know that in Brazil, they speak Portuguese, not Spanish. However, all of the people except for two were saying “Andale!” and “Por favor.” The cab driver looked at the Americans, and said nothing.

In the same show, other teams were saying: “I don’t know how to read Spanish! How do I know what it says?” And the worst was this: “Look where they live! Rats should live there! They need to get better cars, and make the taxi not break down every time we use one.” How ignorant! Most Americans think we’re so good and great, we got to the moon first, la dee da da…etc. But they don’t really care about anything else. I believe that Americans are some of the most ignorant people on the planet, and they should care about more than just themselves. This, I believe.

This winter I am going to Germany. I have never been out of the country, and do not know any language other than English. However, I’m not going to go around Stuttgart or anywhere else saying: “Anybody here speak English? Anyone? Hello?” I’ll be speaking with basic German, such as “guten tag” and other easy, basic phrases. None of the Germans will be thinking I’m ignorant, nor my family; that will help them know that not all Americans are ignorant, and save some reputation for the U.S.A.

What would some of you think if a Russian came up to you, looked, and said something you didn’t understand? I know that some of you would say: “Stupid Russians.” Other would say: “Learn to speak English!” You have to realize that English is one of the hardest languages to learn, and some people will be here for a day or two and don’t know any English. What would you do if you were in Russia, and some people said, in their own language: “Stupid American. Learn Russian.” However, in our arrogance, some people say: “English should be the primary language! Everybody speak it!” It’s just ignorant.

All-in-all, it’s just wrong to be so arrogant to other nations. If we were a little more open-minded, maybe some countries would respect us more, and we wouldn’t be so selfish, and our nation just may grow better.

This, I believe.