Viewing the rest of the world

By
  • Monica Foss, University teaching specialist
November 08, 2012

I am grateful to be in a country that gives equality and freedom to men and women and people of all different colors and that I have a government whose underlying goal is to support my livelihood. After watching the election come and go, however, I have a serious problem with the way our politicians view the rest of the world.

Seeing the presidential candidates talk about the world like it was a game unnerved me. Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama insisted that American values could turn around the state of the Middle East. While I think our democracy should be perpetuated to places living in political tumult, I don’t think our way of life is necessarily the “right” way.

We can learn a lot from other countries if we are open to the idea that every culture has its flaws. For example, being one of the hardest working countries, we could take a tip from Argentina and have more national holidays. They have 39 vacation days compared to the U.S.’s 20, which the majority of us don’t take. In a time of resource uncertainty, we could take a tip from our Native American neighbors and regard nature with a sense of brotherhood. And even though the Arab world has its extremists, their people place concern for other’s well-being well before individual concerns.

This is a world of 7 billion people, much larger and diverse than any one can imagine. The idea that the U.S. has it all is a joke. Learning to work together and learning from each other are our only hopes at a future of peace.

 

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