If you have read Buzzfeed articles or anything by media outlets which are dependent on audience participations, you may have encountered ones about what Americans miss while living abroad.
You will notice some patterns.
One major criticism they have of non-Americans is our weak ambitions. I do think it is a legitimate one.
While simply having strong ambitions won’t instantly improve our lives, it certainly compels us to not get too content with the downsides, which compels us to do something about them. America wouldn’t be this developed if it wasn’t for its people’s ungodly strong drives.
But, the other criticisms are just…. bizarre: they also complain that other countries suffer from “high quality fast food” scarcity and their supermarkets offer little product varieties. For them, those downsides are a big deal.
Let me break them down and explain why they are stupid.
When I think of prosperity, I am thinking of our ability to afford our basic needs and ones of high quality. As long as well-balanced diets are affordable, does it really matter if our stores don’t have Oreos with million different flavours? Those are inessentials. Believe it or not, we can live without them.
And fast food? Seriously?
I understand if you miss the taste. But, how is its scarcity a huge negative point? If anything, considering the health effects, shouldn’t it be the exact opposite? Not to mention you have a chance to widen your tastebuds, especially if you live somewhere outside the west. The culinary world is more than just cheeseburgers, fried chicken and fries.
Oh and that criticism about ambition? Again, in general, it is a valid criticism. But, depending on the individuals who express it, I should add an asterisk: some of them also criticise the lack of hustle culture. Again, it is stupid.
If you are in dire needs of cash, you are in a strict deadline or there is a workplace emergency, working laboriously long hours is certainly warranted. But, if you are in neither situation, why the fuck should you work overtime everyday?
Is the extra cash (assuming you receive it) really worth the death of your personal lives (God forbids if you are married with kids) ? Is it really worth sacrificing your physical and mental health? If you are not one of those brainwashed cretins who believe working is the meaning of life, you would answer no to either one.
What’s my point here?
It seems some Americans have very misguided priorities. In this particular case, their idea of good living entails the ability to consume products excessively — especially fast food — and declaring working as life’s main — if not only — goal. They are parroting what the sordid corporate world has been propagating for many years.
I have to emphasise some Americans.
While some have the intelligence of a rock, there are also many genuinely thoughtful ones; they use their experiences living abroad and/or interacting with foreigners to contemplate about life in their home country, scrutinising it in entirely new light.
Even better, they also believe their country — currently the world’s only superpower — should learn from other countries. Not only they recognise its own weaknesses (some of which stick out like sore thumbs on the world stage), they also condemn their fellow countrymen for romanticising and whitewashing the dark side.
In this particular case, they understand life is more than just about working and consuming.
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