Americans Break Down The Things They Appreciate Most About The U.S.
Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

Let's put this up front: the United States of America is not the greatest country in the world.

It's just a fact. We're not tops in the world in education, our maternity leave for new mothers pales in comparison to most European countries, which is to say nothing of our healthcare as a whole, and our average income per household?

8th. Last we checked, that's not 1st.

It's not all doom and gloom though. There are still a lot of things to love about the good ol' U. S. of A. And if you love something, you fight for it, to make it better, and truly try to achieve the ranking of "best."


Reddit user, kake92, wanted to know what the U.S.A. actually gets right when they asked:

"Americans, what thing do you appreciate the most about America (USA)?"

Not everything that makes the U.S.A. great is honorable or noble.

Sometimes, it's just funny.

Too Much, Then Dial It Back

"Drink refills at restaurants."

MisterMorgan1206

"You get ice! And you get ice! And you get ice!"

PrisonerV

"yes, and most of the time way too much! Europeans complain that we are obsessed with ice. This might appear to be true, but im more comfortable asking for less ice in the US than for ice at all in Europe."

MisterMorgan1206

I May Not Agree With What You're Doing, But...

"we can have all sorts of outlets that mock people in positions of authority and dont get sent to labor camps or prison"

"hell we can burn our own flag"

"pretty gud I think"

King-Grey

"I think people who burn our flag are sh-theads, but I'll defend their right to do so to the death, and that's a fact. I don't always love what I hear from "free speech" but I love that it's free. For now, anyhow.."

LittleArkansas

You know what we have a lot here? Land!

There's a lot of land and a lot of land to see, so why not take a trip this summer and get lost in the wilderness of your imagination.

This is starting to sound like a travel ad.

The Most Gorgeous Vacation You Haven't Taken

"National Parks"

Ezzy17

"Sounds braggy, but I work for the National Park Service and it's the best job I've ever had in my career. I don't think I ever want to leave. Plus, paid trips to all the parks and getting to see things "off the beaten path" that normal visitors just can't get to. I love it and I love our parks."

clyde2003

Not As Crowded As You Might Think

"Wide open spaces can still be found here. I don't like most people, and I frequently need to get away from them."

salthecrawfish

"I grew up in rural Idaho and the wide open spaces are truly amazing. I live in the city now, but still look for any opportunity to get away. My wife is from back east and she thought she knew what the "middle of nowhere" was like until I took her to my grandparent's ranch. The nearest neighbor is five miles away. The nearest "town" is 30 miles away. She didn't realize how much nothing there was in the Western-half of the US."

clyde2003

And We've Got The Disaster Movies To Prove It!

"We've got all the weather. You want hot and humid? We have it! You want frigid? We have it! You want all the weather within 24 hours? We definitely have it!"

"Tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes (not weather, I know), lightning? We've got it all!"

CitizenCobalt

Location, Location, Location

"This is going to sound really dark but with all the talk of war recently…especially with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I appreciate how far we are from all the other major powers."

"Yes, they can always send missiles but any land invasion is very difficult to achieve. China and Russia would have to put in major effort if they were going to try to invade America….."

OSUfirebird18

Maybe we're not the "greatest country in the world," but we should all be doing everything we can, every day, to make that come true.

Go Do What You Want

"Answering this as a serial expat that has spent at this point 25% of my life overseas and has lived in multiple countries."

"Few places on Earth embrace the "go do what you want" mentality like America. You want to be a wiccan priestess that lives in a yurt in the Cascade mountains? You want to be a rancher in Utah?"

"You want to live your dream of opening a cupcake store for pets? No matter what you do there is a community of people cheering you on in America and that is a very rare and very cool thing."

RootlessNumbers

Mostly, We're Alright

"I have lived in lots of other countries, but I am from the US. I have a few things to point out."

"The roads are generally nice. Smooth, without huge potholes. I am generally talking about the highways."

"Cleanliness. I have been to places with mountains of trash 6 feet high. Another related thing is that the US has very few stray dogs, and that keeps things overall cleaner."

"The last thing is kind of hard to explain, but I would say the sense of order. Everything is structured, and I kinda like it. The places I have lived, people are just not raised with the mindset that everything should be standardized."

"It really grinds my gears when people talk about how bad the U.S. is. It does have its problems. So does every country. When people go on and on about how bad the US is, I try to put it in to perspective how much worse it can be. My house almost got burned down because the government removed the gas subsidies (which after having them for 2 decades, were bankrupting the government) and people were afraid that the transportation system would shut down. I doubt many people who complain about the US have experienced that."

Mawd14

We're Trying To Get Better, A Little, Every Day

"Having lived outside of the US, I have some perspectives that differ from the norm."

"I’m gonna say some stuff that is gonna make Americans and foreigners alike scratch their heads but I’m hoping some people will know what I’m talking about."

"I truly and wholeheartedly believe that America is the least xenophobic place on the planet."

"I think that xenophobia is so deeply ingrained and normalized the world over that people genuinely do not recognize it in themselves. People will engage in the most hateful xenophobic behavior that I’ve ever seen and then say with a straight face that they are afraid of moving to America because of xenophobia."

"I think that people think America is xenophobic because America’s xenophobia is highlighted, fought, and condemned in ways that no other nation’s is."

"This is because of the second thing that I love about America."

"America is the most diverse nation in the world."

"More than half of our population is people of color, and those people of color are made up of American Black people, North Africans, Sub-Saharan Africans, Native tribes, East Asians, south Asians, central Asians, Latin Americans, Pacific Islanders, Indians, Arabs, and more."

"Every single world diaspora has a politically significant population in America, most of whom are also American citizens who participate in our democracy and our national conversation."

"No other nation in the world comes even close. France and England also have diaspora but not like America does."

"This diversity has created an environment in which that xenophobia which does exist is magnified in its relevance because it actively effects people; a xenophobic American has much more opportunity to cause harm because of their xenophobia than a xenophobic Chinese person."

"But also, this means that America is the epicenter of the movements against xenophobia, and we are the only nation in the world who is engaged in a national conversation about it."

"I’d argue that America is not more xenophobic and thus more backwards than the rest of the world, I’d argue that America has advanced to the stage in attacking our xenophobia that the rest of the world isn’t even close to doing yet."

Brandywine5

We many not get everything right, but it doesn't mean it's not worth living here, fighting for here, and always doing our best to make sure the mistakes get corrected.

What's something you like about living in the United States? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Battlecreek Coffee Roasters on Unsplash

Good smells and bad smells are generally considered pretty universal, but there are definitely some outliers.

Most people can't stand the smell of gasoline, but there are quite a few people who find the smell pleasant.

Redditor Psycho_Bunny_Cutie asked:

"What's a weird smell you're willing to admit you like?"

Skunk

"Skunk"

"Not getting sprayed directly because I've never had that happen so I don't know if I'd like it, but the lingering aftermath."

"My friend's dogs got sprayed and I helped get them bathed. It almost drove them out of their house, but I liked the smell. It lingered for months."

- LakotaGrl

Giphy

​Disney Home Video

"I remember liking the smell of Disney VHS cases."

- AtlUtdGold

"Omg. This unlocked a memory for me. I also loved this. But I haven’t done it in so long that I had forgotten. But this comment literally brought the smell right back. Thank you!"

- el-mil

"Me toooooo. Holy sh*t. I feel like it’s 1995 and I’m on the living room floor about to pop in Pocahontas for the 4th time today."

- lubs96

Friends' Homes

"​I dont know if this counts, where I used to live is very common to hug people all the time, and if I have been in someone's home before, the place would have a particular smell, and almost everytime I would hug them, they would smell like their home. It always felt good to make that association, it was comforting somehow."

- Montpierce

"Same for me, and then when you're out and about and you catch a wiff of something that smells the same even if it's been years they pop into your mind."

- loonettt

New Tech

"​The smell of brand new tech gadgets. It smells of technology. Whenever I buy a new mouse or keyboard (it is especially true for logitech products I don't know if it is a general thing) I sniff them as long as I can detect that sweet plastic-y, ultra clean-smelling goodness."

- bobisz

"Back when CD's were the dominant form of data transfer, I would LOVE every time a new one was opened, just sniffing the new CD."

"Years later, I discovered a nearly identical (to me) smell that works just as well... fresh saffron. Saffron smells like new CD's to me, and I love it."

- ConnectionIssues

Mimeograph Solvent

"Ah, back in the old days, the smell of papers that the teacher handed out that were fresh off those old hand-cranked mimeograph machines. The solvent. Mmmm."

- whazzup_b*tches

Fast Times At Ridgemont High GIF by FilminGiphy

Pool Toys

​"Pvc pool toys when you're unfolding them before you blow them up."

- NoticeWhenUAreHappy

"I bought a shower curtain the other day and instead of a light plastic smell it smelled heavily of inflatable pool toys, best shower ever."

- I_PEE_WITH_THAT

Basements

"I love the smell of basement- which I don't know if is weird, but I'm the only one I know who likes it."​

- AmeliaUsesReddit

"Yessss, also sometimes underground parking garages or stairwells have it. Everyone always thinks I’m an idiot when I bring it up."

- Fenzik

​Home Depot

​"The smell of Home Depot"

- lanuevagringa

"I have long been hoping for Yankee Candle to team up with Home Depot to a lumber aisle scented candle."

- MintyFreshBreathYo

​Hot Pavement And Rain

​"Hot parking lot when it first starts to rain."

- TheUSForestService

"The best! I can smell it now. Thanks for that. That smell in a sun shower is like the best feeling you could ever feel."

- uffdathatisnice

​Burnt Matches

​"Matches after the flame goes out."

- makeful

"Ooooh I like the smell when you blow out a candle."

- Kaisa_is_short

Lighting Up GIF by GifGariGiphy

While there are some smells that seem like everyone must hate them, there's always going to be someone who thinks they smell better than roses.

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Jack B / Unsplash

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