It’s no news that Covid-19 has been shacking the world. Negative thoughts and behaviors are happening in every corner of the globe. America is, as always, in the center of it all.
I believe, however, that America isn’t all that bad. Even though it isn’t all that great either.
There are flaws everywhere
5 years ago, I came to Japan hopeful for a better life, a better environment. After all, the country is most known for its people caring for each other and following rules, and for its safety. But guess what I didn’t think I’d find but still did? Racism.
Every country has its flaws. In some countries, they are easier to find, but in others, they are underlying.
Covid-19 has brought to light every country’s flaws:
- The protests to “regain their freedom” and against “the tyranny” in America
- The enormous groups who went to parks the weekend before the lockdown in France and the many who still go and meet outside
- The Japanese people who don’t follow the lockdown directives because they are only “recommendations” and the companies who still force their employees to come to the office just to stamp files
Every time I look at what’s happening, I lose a bit of love for the country. I love France but I hate it. I love Japan but I hate it. I love America but I hate it. Of course, I’ve never lived in the States so my opinion has to be flawed in some parts here.
Despite every American believing from the bottom of their heart that “America is the land of the free”, it isn’t. That’s not what America is. America is the land of everything.
The worst kind of people are there, but the best are too. Why do you think there are 23 million people around the world applying to an actual lottery to get a green card? My brother who isn’t even a big fan of America applied for years. He might even still be applying right now.
I’ll be honest, I hated Americans all my childhood. Every single thing I would discover about America would make me believe it was full of fools.
But that was before I took a hard look at my own country. I saw similar patterns. The only difference? The size of the country. Sure, guns are forbidden in France. But apart from that, it’s pretty much the same. Racism, sexism, and stupidity aren’t “American things”. They’re everywhere.
I don’t hate America anymore
Will I tell you I love it? No, that’s not going to happen. But among the hundreds of Americans I’ve met throughout my life, I’ve probably only met one or two I would put in the “despise” category.
All the other people contributed to incredible experiences. There was the girl in China I met at a party who brought be as VIP in a club and introduced me to a prospect for work the next day. There was the one I met at a Christmas party last year who was traveling the world while working. There was the guy I met at a New Year’s Party in New York who happened to have lived 10 years in Kyoto. There were the exchange students in my school, the clients I had, the friends of friends…
All of them showed me America wasn’t what I thought it was. Sure, it was full of jerks, but it was also full of people looking forward to a better future.
Medium is a place where you can see this. The platform is from America, the vast majority of readers and writers are Americans. What haven’t I seen here? Awful people.
It’s the negative we remember
That’s unfortunate, isn’t it? But the truth of life lies here. We remember what hurts. That pain is the problem.
“Pain results from a judgment you have made about a thing. Remove the judgment and the pain disappears.”― Neale Donald Walsch
What if you didn’t think America was the best? What if you thought it was just “meh”? Would you be shocked by the protests? Would you be shocked by the racism, the sexism? I’m ready to bet you wouldn’t.
You would prefer better. You may even strive to make it better. But you won’t be disappointed. You won’t hate the country for it.
I’ve lived this for France. By accepting the fact that it was full of flaws, I’ve come to accept it. I’ve also lived this about Japan. By accepting the fact that my 14-year-old brain was wrong in believing it was perfect, I’ve come to like it for what it is: a place on earth.
Don’t hate the country for what a handful of people say or do. America is full of both good and bad people. It’s full of both good and bad ideas. It’s just full of both good and bad.
America isn’t awesome, neither is it awful. It’s just another place on earth. Accepting both sides is what it means to be human.