There are numerous reasons that the United States gets put on blast. From its love of violence (war, guns, capital punishment) to its lack merciful public policy (retributive justice, health care only if you can pay), there is no shortage of things that we could go into. While those are legitimate problems, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t positives. In fact, today we are going to devote an entire list to explaining what America does right.
These days, it seems like not even Americans can decide on what exactly is wrong with the nation. So, in the interest of bringing all sides together, we are reverting to what is possibly the oldest tactic in the book. We are focusing on the positives. Maybe if we can all look at why we love the United States (yes, even you Europe), then maybe we can lose a bit of this hatred and contempt in our hearts for the “other side.” So, join us today as we dive headfirst into one of the most unlikely articles you are going to read in a long time. These are 25 Things The United States Does Remarkably Well.
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Technology and Convenience
Whether it’s an app or a 24 hour shopping center, Americans should never take this for granted. Most public places also offer free WiFi, which is why you won’t find many internet cafes.
You can buy almost anything.
Well, almost. There are even a lot of international products you can find here; Unfortunately, Kinder Surprise isn’t one of them.
Free water at restaurants
Many Americans are surprised when they travel abroad and find that this is not the case in many other places of the world. In fact, several restaurants in the US will automatically bring you a glass of water before you even ask.
No tall poppy syndrome
In much of Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world, you are expected to keep your head down and conform, and you might be attacked for having a high status. In America, you are expected to break the mold and find ways to stand out and above others. It’s all about individuality.
Note: This also contributes to the fact that it is much easier to assimilate in the United States than in most other countries. In many places, it is impossible to ever be fully accepted as a citizen. You can learn the language, pick up the customs, and get the passport, but you will never fully be accepted. Furthermore, unlike other nations, immigrants can reach the top of the economic ladder in the United States.
Geographical and climactic diversity
Big cities, deserts, jungles, mountains, glaciers…you don’t even have to leave the country. This might be why some Americans don’t make any effort to travel outside their own country. It’s much easier to explore the vast diversity within the country.
If the world was a game of Civilization, the US would have won a cultural victory a long time ago.
Movies, music, video games…the world consumes American media.
Note: For those of you who might not know, Civilization is a computer game that originated in the 90’s that allows players to build their own empires or civilizations.
You don't need a college degree to be successful (or any degree for that matter).
There are many ways to make a living and thrive without having a degree. It just takes a lot of determination and smart thinking. However, if you want to still go the college route, 50 of the top 100 universities in the world are in the United States. While student loan debt is a big problem, most states have scholarship programs that will pay for your education if you get the grades. (Just keep in mind that even with the college degree you’ll need determination and smart thinking. A college degree in no way guarantees success.)
For a few dollars a month, you can skip paying for cable or watching bad TV programming by watching many movies and television sitcoms on demand. Hands down, it has the most content out of any country. (It also has international content too if the American films and shows aren’t enough.)
There is almost nowhere on Earth that you can speak your mind more than the US.
While there are laws against hate speech, slander, and libel, people in the US have a remarkable amount of freedom to say whatever they want and not fear major repercussions. The first amendment of the US constitution actually protects freedom of speech as a right of US citizens.
Free public bathrooms
In most other places you have to pay. This is another aspect to international travel that renders many Americans speechless. While there are exceptions, many public bathrooms are also pretty clean, and businesses expect you to complain or tell them if the bathroom is a mess or missing toilet paper.
In other places you have to pay for these, too. In the US, you can expect to have your drink automatically refilled at most restaurants. However, it’s useful to note that this mainly applies to water and fountain sodas. Milk, alcohol, fancy teas and coffees, and anything found in a bottle are exceptions.
If you’re interested in more fascinating things about the US, check out 25 Beautiful Places In The United States You Need To Visit Today.
My goodness are they amazing and smooth. Even by Canadian standards. Drivers are also expected to stay in their lanes.
Legal right turns on red
In most of the country, don’t be surprised if a red light at the right turn lane is treated like a stop sign (with the drivers who have the green light getting the right-of-way of course). It’s actually so prevalent that if you are in a spot where you aren’t allowed to turn on red, there will be a posted sign.
You have a constant, undying, against-all-odds optimism
Many other countries would count this as foolishness. But hey, the US flag is on the moon because of it.
If your car breaks down on the side of the road, you'll soon have people stopping and trying to help you.
To the Americans – yes, this is a uniquely American thing. In much of Europe and even the rest of the world, we stick to ourselves.
Two words…unrivaled beauty. You could spend days in this park and not see all the miraculous wonders.
Although the US has a reputation for believing in its exceptionalism, America is also very polarized and diverse in its ideologies. Ironically enough, it is also one of the most self-deprecating nations.
It's possible to be rich in America and work your way from the bottom to the top.
While it requires hard work, determination, a bit of craftiness, and being in the right place at the right time, it’s not unheard of in the US for someone to start at the very bottom of the socioeconomic ladder and move to the top. This is true even for immigrants.
The main downside is that it’s hard to recognize you’re rich when you get there. It’s easy to take on more financial responsibilities the more money you make, which makes you feel like you’re just as poor as when you started.
Throughout it’s history, NASA has paved the way for many scientific discoveries in the world in the areas of space exploration and aeronautics. There are many things that the world now knows about space based on the research and exploration that that happens at NASA.
Never take these for granted because only in America are they so abundant. People from other places in the world might be surprised to find that there is at least one water fountain in most buildings, public places, and parks.
Constant world champions of the NBA, NFL, and MLB
Except when a Canadian team wins. And yes, this is a joke.
Respect for red lights, crosswalks, etc
When the crosswalk light says “don’t cross,” people either stop and wait, or they at least hesitate and look around carefully before making a run for it. Drivers also do a relatively good job of stopping when the light is red. Both crossing during a “no walk” sign (called jaywalking) and driving through a red light can result in a hefty fine.
Northern Europe and Canada are the only places that have the US beat on this. Scandinavians will stand and wait for the “green man” even if there is not a single car in sight.
Even the Canadians think that Americans are super friendly.
Perhaps this is due to the undying optimism mentioned in number 12. Americans also have a reputation for smiling at strangers on the street and being an extremely extroverted society, which is quite strange to people from other places in the world.
You don't get thrown in jail for disagreeing with anything on this list.
While free speech may have it’s restrictions, having an opinion contrary to popular belief will not put you in jail. Just be sure to express your opinion in a respectful manner that doesn’t encroach on the rights of others.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
In most other developed nations, the current government is the result of a former monarchy or dictatorship that was restricted. This means that the government has final say. In the US, the government was created from nothing with the intention of having limited powers, primarily related to national defense. In fact, the constitution says that any power not specifically given to the federal government is in the hands of the states. This means that the states and not the federal government have the final say.