America, here is why I love you.

I am proud to call America my second home, and I’ve toyed with living there permanently more times than I can count. On this day when emotions are running high, and sadness, anxiety, and trepidation is in the air for so many, I wanted to note down why I love America and what, as a humble visitor, I’ve noticed that makes you one of the greatest nations on earth.

You look out for one another
I’ve been in public spaces, trains, planes, walking down a street – and it’s like you all have this radar going for other people, constantly. If something isn’t right, you speak out. If you see someone looking lost, you help. I’ve seen perfect strangers who appear to be deep in conversation save someone else’s kid from walking into oncoming traffic. But you do it in this kind of beautiful way that doesn’t ever make it feel like you’re interfering or being weird. It warms my heart every time I see it, and I see it every trip. England’s attitude tends to be far more “head down, not my problem” to many of these things – we’re getting better, but we still have a long way to go.

You are truly diverse
The UK, again, is getting better at this but we’re nowhere near where you are at. Your country is diverse from its very core, and it’s a beautiful thing.

Hard work is encouraged, and victories celebrated
I always used to think the American dream was a cliche used in musicals, but I now realise it’s the very thing your country is built upon. Anyone, with hard work and vision, can do anything. When people accomplish their goals and do well for themselves, it’s celebrated. In the UK we tend to think that kind of rhetoric is self-indulgent and “up one’s own arse” – making people who have earned their money feel like they have to hide it so as not to seemingly gloat about their achievements.

You talk to one another, even strangers
I’m that strange person in the UK who does this, which is probably why I love America so much. You guys are not afraid to talk to other stranger-human-beings. It’s a revelation to this Brit. When I would walk to work in NYC, a city that is meant to be the most hostile and fast-paced in the world – no one is meant to have time for anyone there, right? I had some of my most meaningful conversations with perfect strangers while waiting for restaurant tables to become free or simply walking around the park. I love you for that.

When you do something, you DO IT
Nothing is ever done half-hearted in the States. If you’re going to put on a parade you put on the best parade there’s ever been. A firework display? Sure – it’s going to burn up the sky so brightly you’ll not be able to see for days. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas? Get outta here. Let’s wrap entire stores in a giant Christmas Bow and hand out as much free candy as our hands can muster. Want to compare the UK in this way? I’m sure many of you haven’t even heard of Guy Fawkes night because we’re too busy hijacking Halloween.

You have the best National Anthem in the world
I mean, it’s called the “Star Spangled Banner” for goodness sake and it has the most rousing tune of any national anthem there is, I get tingles every time I hear it; tingles and jealousy that you get to sing something so patriotic. The droning tune of “God Save the Queen” puts us Brits to sleep. However, if we had “Rule Britannia” as our National Anthem, we might, just might be able to compete with you.

Now, if I could just get you to understand that that stuff you serve as English Breakfast Tea is nothing like what we actually drink, and you had something truly similar to the NHS, you would be absolutely perfect.

God Bless America.

  • Thank you for the kind words. Today’s gonna be hard.

  • Dan

    This was really nice to hear today. You’re welcome anytime.

  • Greg Chandler

    I totally agree, America is a great place. But I have to say I thank my lucky stars that I live in the UK and not the USA.

    I totally admire the Americans for promoting, supporting startups/businesses etc, and for celebrating their successes – something you are right to point out we’re not great at doing in the UK.

    But on the other points I have to disagree. I work in and around London, and I see strangers helping strangers all the time, I see friendly policemen and I see strangers sharing a pint in the good old tradition of a British pub. I see so much warmth in the British people, and definitely not an attitude of “not my problem” – I think history shows we are always ready to step in when we see something that’s not right.

    You say that the UK’s not diverse, which I find strange. London is one of the most diverse cities on the planet, and whilst we have our problems, different races, religions and nationalities experience far less friction, injustice or discrimination than they do in the USA, I think the news alone tells us that the USA is decades behind Europe in this sense. Is it any wonder that people risk their lives from all parts of the World to get to the UK? It’s not for our weather that’s for sure.

    Our NHS, our police service (who don’t for the most part even need to carry guns because of how safe the UK is), our fairness and empathy, our people and even our National Anthem (which at a guess I would say the vast majority of brits absolutely adore) are just a handful of things that makes Britain, not perfect, but the closest thing to perfect that this World has.

    My views are mine and yours are yours, but for someone that lives in the UK, and such a nice part of the UK, I’m surprised that you don’t see all of the beauty that you mention plus more right on your doorstep.


    • Sarah

      I absolutely do and I’m about as proud to be British as they come, but yesterday wasn’t about us, it was about them and I wanted to remind them why I, as a visitor, have always felt welcomed in their country.

      I love Britain for all the things you point out above, and so much more – but yesterday was about America for me.

      • Greg Chandler

        You’re absolutely right, yesterday was all about them (although seemingly they got what they voted for), however as you point out, America has many many merits and can be adored without needing to compare them to us.

        The two nations are incredibly similar, yet incredibly different at the same time. Both are great, both are different.

  • I have to say, as an American this is amazing to read.

    So often when speaking to people from the U.K., there is a sense of having to prove themselves. They so rarely can say anything about the U.S. without justifying how the U.K. is just as good or better. And I say this as an American that wants nothing more than to move to the U.K. and experience all the richness of it, even though many wouldn’t be very open to it. It is a place my soul craves and that I long for and wish I could be a contributing part of.

    But I am also proud (I’m not sure if this is the word I’m looking for) of my American heritage. We are a deeply flawed people. We have a horrible and amazing past. We have produced amazing things, we have given amazing things to the world and at the same time terrible things.

    Many of the things you list gave me pause. Because they are things I never truly thought about until you pointed them out and they’re true. I’ve spoken to several British friends and they also agree. Even ones that have lived in London and then the US.

    It is difficult to feel proud of your country when so many from other countries feel an intense need to cut you down for speaking out on it. Is it perfect? Not in the slightest. I am saddened by yesterday’s events. Especially when as an American, I understand our processes and that overall, this is not the will of the people but a product of our system.

    I keep resounding lyrics in mind as we deal with this week’s events: “I am not throwing away my shot.
    Hey yo, I’m just like my country, I’m young, scrappy and hungry, and I am not throwing away my shot.”

    • Sarah

      A Hamilton Fan? You are a lady after my own heart.
      The mischievous part of me wants to respond with “I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love” 😉

      In all seriousness, thank you for your most eloquent reply. You have so much to be proud of, so much.

  • Mark Petereit

    God bless you, Sarah. You nailed everything I love about America. (Please forgive us for the tea. It hasn’t been right since we dumped it all in the Boston Harbor.)

  • Roger Chappell

    Cool. Incidentally, all of those points could be made about Australia. 😛 The head down thing is one thing I noticed about England when I stayed there a while ago. I found it most weird.

  • Deanna

    Such a sweet post! I never realized this isn’t the case in other countries because I haven’t been to anywhere outside of North America. I’m sure you are just as sweet to everyone, everywhere, as well!