We publish tons of stories decrying the United States. Last week, we posted a piece highlighting the outrage Europeans feel when they learn about America’s working conditions, and the week before, we discussed things other countries do better.
All that may make you think we don’t like our own country, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
We love America. We simply want to make it a better place for everyone.
But we appreciate what we have as well. While scrolling through my favorite Reddit community, R/askreddit, I found a thread asking users to share the best things about the United States. Since we’ve published similar pieces outlining the country’s challenges, I thought it would be only fair to highlight the great things about America too.
Here are some of the best things America offers.
The US is a world leader in entertainment culture. We export our Hollywood films globally, and the biggest bands from the states also tend to be popular elsewhere.
Most cities and states also do a great job of bringing that entertainment to the people. One user said most places in America offer a wide range of niche shows, bands, films, and other entertainment options for nearly all tastes.
Others said it depends on where you live. While big cities often have tons of entertainment opportunities, those living in rural areas must travel to see a show.
America is a massive country with vast swaths of unpopulated, open land. Travelers to the Western states will marvel at the natural beauty, clear skies, and starry nights of the undisturbed space.
“A starry western night sky in a remote spot is a stunning experience,” said one user, highlighting the majesty of a night’s sky without light pollution.
Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, developed the National Parks System, and it’s still a treasure today. The idea was that these gorgeous places should belong to the people.
The National Parks Service protects millions of acres of federal land and allows tourists to explore the natural beauty hidden throughout the country. Parks include ancient forests, epic desert canyons, mountains, rivers, and beaches.
Millions of tourists visit the various parks yearly to enjoy hiking, fishing, serene views, and the great outdoors.
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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
One Redditor said the ADA is the gold standard for how a country should make spaces accessible to the disabled.
“A paraplegic person can wheel themselves into pretty much any commercial building in the country and be confident that there will be ramps in all the right places and a restroom they can use,” they shared, adding, “If there aren’t, there are powerful legal tools to make it happen.”
The user explained that most other countries don’t have the same protections for disabled citizens.
A Better Life is Possible
America is the land of opportunity. Although many insist it’s getting harder and harder to get ahead in the states, it’s still possible.
One user shared the story of their neighbor, a Sudanese refugee who came to America with nothing. She became a nurse making a healthy income, and her kids became a teacher and store manager.
Another added that there are “Millions of stories of people who came here for a better future and made it happen. Very few places in the world can facilitate that. The US is definitely one of them.”
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Americans are a friendly bunch. We make small talk in cashier lines and on the commuter bus. We wave to our neighbors whom we’ve never actually spoken to. Other countries sometimes find this open behavior baffling, but some love it.
One user living in Germany expressed how delightful small talk is when you don’t get it every day.
“I love Germany, but people here are really uninterested in talking to people outside of their established social circles,” they shared. “Every time I go back to the States, I end up chatting with every single person I interact with, just because it‘s so nice to have a friendly conversation with a stranger.”
America isn’t homogeneous. Different cities developed different cultures and flavors, making a trip across the US almost like a trip through different countries and times.
We’ve developed several regional cuisines based on immigrant groups and ecosystems, offering a broad range of culinary delights depending on where you visit.
Travelers to New Orleans can sample the unique cajun and creole style dishes the city made famous, while those visiting the Northeast can enjoy fantastic chowders and lobster.
Chicago has it’s pizza and hot dogs, Nashville has its spicy chicken, the south constantly battles it out to see who has the best BBQ, and numerous hipster cities scattered across the country compete for the title of “best foodie vacation spot.”
You’re likely to stumble upon an epic food culture anywhere you go in the US.
Americans aren’t afraid to try new things. We believe the world is full of possibilities, and “let’s give it a try” is one of our top cultural phrases.
One Redditor pointed out the lack of an established culture as a perk, not a limitation, of American ingenuity. They said the lack of a deep cultural tradition dating centuries makes it easier for Americans to try new things, combine ideas others wouldn’t dream of, and create unique masterpieces.
Many in other countries would be horrified at the astonishing things Americans try that go outside their age-old traditions.
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America is a melting pot. It welcomes people from all over the world.
People from every background, culture, religion, etc., call this vast country home. What makes an “American” isn’t your background. It’s an idea for the future and way of life. Anyone can be an American.
The diversity also breeds acceptance of new foods, ideas, traditions, decorations, and anything else. Americans want to try new foods, implement new ideas, and learn the perspectives of others. Those we like get incorporated into our giant pot, and our society is better because of it.
One user pointed out a freedom we all too often take for granted. We can gather and badmouth our political leaders without a second thought. We can tweet our opinions on legislation, say we hate this political leader or that one, and talk about our thoughts on various policies openly with our friends.
The first amendment allows us to disagree with our political leaders without fear of reprisal. It’s one of the most incredible ideas our founding fathers provided the world, and we must ensure we don’t lose it.
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The Best of America
There are hundreds of other great things about America. The country offers opportunities, diversity, and freedoms that many people in the world can only dream of.
What’s your favorite thing about America?
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.