It's funny how little we American's (I'm born and raised in NYC), think about what the world thinks of us. And yes we do say and hear things like:
"They [the rest of the world?] hate us."
"We are #1 in the world."
"We are the ones who are truly free."
But we don't actually THINK about the rest of the world or their opinions.
And whether you believe any of these 3 things or not, I found an amazing video asking real people from around the world what they think about when they think of America.
And not shocking. But it certainly stirs up some of the thoughts that I had while I was backpacking Europe.
I remember glancing over at a man reading the paper on the 4 hour train from Switzerland to Germany and yet France was the headline.
I remember rethinking how weird that was...that a whole different country was news.
And it reminded me of how cocooned Americans are. We study American history forever but jam World History (Global) into half a semester. Lets be real we only ever hear bad stuff about other countries and it is always only in reference to us and the war we are waging with or against them.
I am reminded that I really have no idea where those middle states actually are on a map unless its labeled.
I could not ask the friends I met at the hostels about their politics because I didn't even know if they had a president, prime minister, or Queen yet they told me exactly who they want to vote for, if they liked Obama, and what they think America is doing wrong (college tuition).
I am remind that I speak one language and expect people to understand me, yet around the world most people are AT LEAST bilingual.
I am reminded that the world doesn't actually hate us.
That we are believed to be the land of dreams, the country paved with gold, the culture shock of a life time.
But when our ignorance and egos start to show, that is when the world wishes to turns it back. Because their are so many cultures, languages, and traditions that we know nothing about and it would be a pity if we didn't get the chance to learn about them.
So go somewhere new, because America really only offers you one story, and its a half remembered one at that.