It’s time for some real talk: I’m proud to be an American and I feel lucky that I was born and raised here, but there are a lot of things about our country that are incredibly messed up…especially right now…
But there are a lot of great things about the U.S., too!
AskReddit users went on the record about the things that they think America does RIGHT.
Let’s see what they had to say.
“Our public libraries are a real backbone for the country.
Andrew Carnegie’s groundwork in building the institution of free libraries, even in small towns, set a precedent that we wouldn’t fathom today but couldn’t live without. They often serve not only as an information exchange but as cultural hub, art gallery, performing arts center, tax aide, voter registration, job resources, etc. in communities.
Plus they’re one of the only places you can just exist for hours indoors without the expectation you must buy something.
And I feel like they’ve adapted to the ever-changing needs of their patrons in modern times faster in the US than most places.
“A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.” -Andrew Carnegie.”
2. The ADA.
“I see everyone bringing up the Americans with Disabilities Act and talking about how accessible our buildings are here in the States. The ADA goes beyond that by so much more.
I’m a relay operator for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. Basically, my job enables folks who can’t hear or hear well to use the phone. For a simplified overview: Using special equipment or a special mode on a cell phone, someone can connect to the relay service, give me a phone number, have me dial the number and then read everything the other end says as I type it, verbatim. Then they type a response, and I read it out loud to the other end.
The ADA also means that the burden is on the provider to provide a sign language interpreter at doctor’s or hospital visits, not the patient.
I also have experience with the blind and visually impaired community, because the ADA requires educational institutions to provide text books in alternative formats for students with disabilities. In college, I worked for my university’s office of disability services to convert textbooks to Braille and audio. As a sighted person, I can read grade 1 Braille (with my eyes, not my fingers). That’s a pretty cool skill that not many sighted people have.
All the ramps and things are cool too, but the ADA is so much more than wheelchairs in buildings.”
“Valuing actual wilderness in places like national parks.
Here in England, they will “restore” or “create” natural habitats, which is sort-of nice, but they are almost like zoos. They are too small to survive by themselves so they are actively maintained.
And in some English national parks, they actually allow housing developments as long as the archetectural design is sympathetic. Here, “countryside” means farms.
There is still a notion in the USA of protecting some large wilderness areas from development.”
4. Nice folks.
“Americans just don’t get enough love for being broadly nice people.
I’ve travelled the USA quite a bit and almost everywhere you go someone will strike up a conversation and have a laugh.”
5. Science powerhouse.
“The US is an absolute science powerhouse.
The technology we come out with has touched the lives of nearly every person on the planet.”
6. The good stuff.
“Online shopping (free shipping and return), cheap gas, cheap and massive houses (except the obviously expensive cities), cheap domestic flights, good interstate highways, diverse landscapes, abundance of produce, abundance of opportunities in general, etc.”
7. Great filmmakers.
Dont get me wrong, the US can put out some bad films, but the best ones I’ve seen are usually American.”
8. Gimme two!
“Sandwiches in general.
Burgers, Philly cheese steaks, reubens, subs, clubs, chopped cheese, po’boys, just this whole sandwich spectrum.
Americans just took sandwich concepts from across the globe and ran with them.”
9. A second chance.
“I say this as an immigrant who came to this country, so perhaps take it with a grain of salt.
But it truly gives people a second chance at life. My life would be nowhere near as good as it is right now if I were back in my home country.”
10. Fill ‘er up!
“Gas stations like QuikTrip, where they have clean bathrooms, lighted parking lots, free air for your tires, ten different coffees on tap, beer, hotdogs, any soft drink or snack you want, the list goes on.
In other countries — you’re not gonna believe this — their gas stations only sell……gas.”
11. It’s great!
“The US postal system its the most far reaching postal system in the world. We will deliver nearly anything to any mailbox.
Do you live in the bottom of the grand canyon? Say no more, postal donkies.”
12. We should be proud of this.
I know people like to s**t on the US but honestly in many other countries you can immigrate and you’ll always be the ‘foreigner’.
Aside from a small minority of a**holes, most Americans accept and even appreciate diversity.
Everyone can come to the US and become American regardless of origin. I love that.”
Now we want to hear from you.
Tell us what you think in the comments.