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."
"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."
"You get ice! And you get ice! And you get ice!"
"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."
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"
"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.."
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
"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."
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."
"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."
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!"
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….."
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."
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."
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."
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!