Martina said a word recently which really resonated with me. I realised that, excluding friends and family, it was probably the thing I missed the most about the UK. That word was objectivity.
As a teenager and as a young adult, when meeting with my friends at the pub, or at a friend’s house, we would often discuss certain subjects: sometimes trivial and sometimes weighty. We would pass around points of view and see the merits of differing stances. It made for intelligent and enjoyable conversation.
Since moving to the US, it’s the one thing I dearly miss. Americans are very opinionated (in case you didn’t already know) and they’re not afraid to voice their opinion, so when a point of discussion arises in conversation, every participant considers it their goal to convert you to their way of thinking, no matter the cost.
It’s really sad because I look back fondly on times that I was able to intellectually discuss a perplexing problem or topic with my peers and consider varied viewpoints: now I’m left being barked at by brainwashed stalwarts, insistent on recruiting me to their way of thinking, which is of course, the correct way.
Americans would benefit greatly from:
- Acknowledging that they don’t know everything.
- Realising that considering other perspectives gives you a more rounded view of the situation.
- Acknowledging that considering the opinions of others doesn’t make you weak: it makes you stronger for being willing to listen to other viewpoints and ponder how they might fit into your belief system (and not the belief system that you think you should have).