Dear America, Please Feel Free to Join the Rest of US

Dear America, Please Feel Free to Join the Rest of US

Planet Earth


Even though I live in Australia, most of the material I read and listen to is American, just like many of my clients, friends and colleagues.

That’s fine; I’m used to the American culture. I love the diversity of living in one country while being immersed in the culture of another; I have the best of both worlds.

The point of this story is that I’ve come to realise when Americans talk about people and events they are only referring to American people and events, as if they’ve forgotten that the rest of the world exists.

And have you ever noticed when you see a picture of planet Earth from space on any American TV show you can only see North and South America?

I’ve recently read blogs which declare, ‘as the world starts to wind down for winter’ and other mind-boggling statements.

Seriously? The world?

That’s interesting because half the world – including me – is currently enjoying glorious spring weather and looking forward to summer.

Does that mean these blog-post writers truly think the entire world is experiencing autumn – or fall, if you’re American – or are they just so arrogant they don’t care about the other half of the world?

Perhaps they think the Internet only encompasses America and its surrounds?

Even some well-known and, dare I say it, ‘should-know-better’ marketers send out emails mentioning the weather, when half the world has the opposite season happening, and quoting American statistics only.

Are they really so naïve they think only the Northern Hemisphere can read their emails or do they just not care?

When I and most non-Americans refer to people we mean everyone, not just the people in our own country. To us, people means everyone in the world, all people.

Americans seem to have an ‘us and them’ attitude.  Does U.S stand for United States or is it just US?

With well over 300 million people, Americans are the most insular folks I’ve ever come across. I don’t know if they just forget about the rest of the world or if they just prefer not to think about us but I do know it can make for some very frustrating conversations.

So why is it that I must keep reminding my amazing American peeps that they aren’t the only ones on the planet? Well, that’s not entirely true. They’ve heard enough from me to remember there are other people in the world. Must I single-handedly re-educate the American population?

So why are Americans so U.S-centric? I thought I’d do some research and try to nail down the exact time they thought the rest of the world didn’t matter.

It seems being insular is taught in schools with copious amounts of American history and very little, if any, non-American geography in the school curriculum. Children are encouraged to be disinterested and unconcerned and the U.S government surely doesn’t help when they declare America to be superior to the rest of the world.

For any Americans reading this, it just isn’t true. America is no better and no worse than anyone else, just different – and very indifferent.

Some have used the excuse that the country is so vast it’s not necessary to travel overseas or learn about other countries because they are so far away.

I live in Australia, also vast, and most Australians have some idea of the rest of the world and how it works and we’re very interested in other people and cultures. Our closest country is well over 2000km away yet at least 60% of Australians have passports compared to 30% of Americans. So that excuse just doesn’t cut it.

I think it must be a cultural influence and the way Americans are brought up.

In my opinion America needs to give more of a damn about the rest of the world if we are ever going to have world peace. I know there are other countries full of people who likewise don’t care, but Americans are more prominent and able to make change on a large scale. At almost 5% of the world’s population that’s too many apathetic citizens.

Until then I’m happy to educate my American friends or maybe just remind them sometimes, not that any of them are unduly insular, and do my part for international relations.

Personally, I’m tired of the attitude of Americans who think they are the only ones who matter and the attitude of the rest of the world who talk and laugh about the ‘ignorant Yanks.’ What we all need is solidarity.

I love being a part of the global village and I think everyone in the world has something valuable to contribute to society.

So, dear Americans, please join the rest of us in enjoying the whole, beautifully diverse planet and everything it has to offer, including all of US.





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