Thursday, August 2, 2012

Does America have more problems than other nations? Or are its citizens just very, very, very noisy --a guide for foreign visitors/

Foreign visitors to America soon notice that the United States has a lot of problems. Or at least it seems that way. After all,  there are many problems mentioned in the newspapers. And people in the United States  do spend a great deal  of time talking about problems. And when they are not talking about the problems, they’re often shouting or protesting or writing to their congressman or other things in response to problems.

Which begs the question, does the United States have more problems than most nations? And if not, why does it seem like problems are so much more visible in America?

To answer this it’s first necessary to understand a little American history.  The first permanent successful settlement in the United States was Plymouth Plantation, settled by a group from England known as the pilgrims. (Often known to foreign people as “the Thanksgiving story people” or “the Mayflower people.”)

They came here because they could not live the sort of life they wished in England.  Their hope and goal was to come to a new land, build a new town and a new community and establish a new way of life and a new culture, and, and this is a very important point, their hope was that this new way of life and this new culture would be better than the old way of life they had left.  

The Plymouth settlement was an experiment. No one knew if it would work. Not only had previous attempts to settle in America failed, but during the first winter,  half of the brave people who settled died from starvation and freezing during the winter. These people literally risked their lives for an attempt to create a better society.

So from the very beginning Americans have sought to create a better society and a better world and a better society and a better culture and a better way of life in their homeland.
This is an admirable goal, but the problems are obvious. Not only is it difficult to accomplish such a goal, but different people have different views as to what is good and what is not good.

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