My Anthropology professor is German (with an accent and everything) and one class period he told us about how Germany has a kind of lack of national pride, due to the Holocaust. It’s frowned upon to fly the German flag or for one to say they’re proud to be German, according to him. I’ve never been to Germany or had a chance to talk to many Germans, so I’m just going to take my professor’s word on this, as it isn’t my central point.
Let’s contrast this attitude to America’s, where we constantly remind ourselves of how great we are. Whenever political pundits criticize America, they almost invariably preface it by saying it’s the greatest country in the world, which always strikes me as insanely arrogant.
Discounting that, what criteria are we supposedly judging our country’s greatness on? If we’re basing it on math and science scores, we’re certainly behind. I could point to many other things where we’re behind as well, like gay marriage and legalization of marijuana, but I don’t want to harp on about it; you get the point.
But if we’re not the greatest country, who is? The simple truth is that there are far too many factors at play to rate any one country as the greatest. Each has had their triumphs and failures, and we’re no exception. Instead of wasting our time telling ourselves we’re number one, we should be focusing on actually making things better. Be humble, America.