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Why our mindsets are so different


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I don't think Europe offers the same scale and, until recently, most of Eastern Europe was not easily accessible. For instance, Germany is smaller than the state of Montana. Traveling Europe via rail pass was all the rage many years ago, complete with hostels and other inexpensive lodging. Many young Americans did this sort of thing during college break or while avoiding service in Vietnam!

The same Americans with a car and some cheap gas money could travel to 49 states, Canada, and Mexico with far greater ease. The U.S. Highways (and later) Interstate system became part of the lure and culture. A "road trip" had endless possibilities.

People still do the Europe via rail pass thing, plenty of my peers have done it or something similar. And they do the US road trip thing too. Easy enough to fit in both...

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Evidently it's ok for Canadians to say that Canada is the greatest country in the world and to tell us that it's much better than the U.S. - along with all of the other direct insults/claims about the U.S. - but it's not ok for us to say that we enjoy travel within the U.S. That makes Americans the arrogant ones. tongue.png I suppose the same criteria is applied to Sweden or Norway - still can't recall which one he has a problem with.

I don't think you're arrogant for thinking your country is the best. Most people would think that about their own country.

I also don't think it's arrogant that you like travelling within your own borders. Going from what part of the US to the other is almost like going to another country anyway so there is lots to see.

What strikes me as particularly odd about (some) Americans is the lack of perspective that an outside world exists. Not being able to find Mexico or Canada on a map is pretty serious. Not all Canadians are smart, but finding the US or Europe on a map wouldn't be too much of an issue.

Edited by BC_chick
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....What strikes me as particularly odd about (some) Americans is the lack of perspective that an outside world exists. Not being able to find Mexico or Canada on a map is pretty serious....

Serious for what...winning a game of Jeopardy! ?? The Americans invented GPS...used by Canadians and Mexicans too.

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Guest American Woman
I don't think you're arrogant for thinking your country is the best. Most people would think that about their own country.

That I think my country is the best is a mindset that is attributed to me by others' mindsets. I've never said any such thing, as I've had plenty of Canadians tell me that Canada is the best country in the world and/or specifically tell me that Canada is a better place to live than the U.S. - and those are the nice negative comments. If an American were to make some of the ugly comments about Canada/Cnadians that have been made about the U.S./Americans, it would be proof positive of how ugly and arrogant Americans are. Yet it's the Americans who are deemed ugly and arrogant - as Canadians are given a pass. The fact is, that doesn't speak of Americans - it speaks of those with such a mindset.

I also don't think it's arrogant that you like travelling within your own borders. Going from what part of the US to the other is almost like going to another country anyway so there is lots to see.

Very true.

However, I'll point out again, the percentage of Americans holding a passport at any given time isn't indicative of the percentage of Americans who have traveled outside of the U.S.; Americans don't need a passport to travel to some countries outside the U.S.; and having a passport isn't necessarily indicative of more worldliness. Again, crossing the border to shop and/or find warm, sunny weather isn't indicative of a thirst for world knowledge.

What strikes me as particularly odd about (some) Americans is the lack of perspective that an outside world exists.

Rest assured that (some) Canadians have the same lack of perspective regarding the existence of an outside world; that such a mindset is put on Americans is more indicative of (some) Canadians' lack of perspective regarding Americans.

Not being able to find Mexico or Canada on a map is pretty serious.

I've always heard this regarding Iraq and Afghanistan; now it's become Mexico and Canada? Just what percentage of Americans do you think can't find Mexico or Canada on a map?

Edited by American Woman
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I'd have to think for a moment about which provinces I've been to. I've been to a few. Not Newfoundland. Not Alberta. And probably not a couple more now I can't remember.

It does not matter to me.

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I don't see what's wrong with getting to know one's own country. I feel privileged to have seen so much of mine.

There's nothing wrong with it, but I want to look at the second sentence. That surprises me. It's not a common Canadian attitude, whatsoever. There were no songs on the radio encouraging us to see Canada, and singing about how much we love it, and so on. I'd like to know how many Canadians feel the same way about Canada as you do about America, IE that there is a desire to see the country, and that it's a privilege .

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Guest American Woman
I'd have to think for a moment about which provinces I've been to. I've been to a few. Not Newfoundland. Not Alberta. And probably not a couple more now I can't remember.

It does not matter to me.

I fail to see the point you're making.

There's nothing wrong with it, but I want to look at the second sentence. That surprises me.

Of course it's a privilege to have seen so much of my country, it's history, beauty, and diversity.

It's not a common Canadian attitude, whatsoever.

Not sure what that has to do with anything, and I'm not sure why Canadians wouldn't be just as eager to see their country as foreigners are.

There were no songs on the radio encouraging us to see Canada, and singing about how much we love it, and so on.

You do realize that that was a commercial, right? "See the USA, in your Chevrolet." It wasn't a "song on the radio." It was also before my time, 1952, right after WWII - when I'm guessing a lot of Canadians didn't have passports, traveling the world. I'm also guessing there was a bit of nationalism, a bit of feeling that Canada was the best nation in the world, at the time. But as I said, it was before my time - I didn't even realize until I listened to the song on youtube that it says "America is the best country" or whatever exactly it it. The idea - the mindset that stayed - was "see the USA." Nothing wrong with seeing, and knowing, one's own country.

As for ads about how much you love Canada, I give you Joe Canadian - and that's deliberate. "Canada is the best part of North America." And speaking of awareness of the world outside one's own, I wonder how many Canadians have stopped to think about how many nations they are insulting by that claim. That's not "nationalism;" that's a deliberate slight - aimed at the U.S., of course, but takes into account many more.

I'd like to know how many Canadians feel the same way about Canada as you do about America, IE that there is a desire to see the country, and that it's a privilege .

Those who don't feel that way are missing out on something, IMO; and if they have traveled throughout Canada and don't consider it a privilege, they are simply taking it for granted, which isn't exactly something to be proud of.

Edited by American Woman
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Please accept my questions as valid. They are not a criticism of you. Remember the spirit of the thread is why our mindsets are different.

I think you love your country and want to be proud of it, which is pretty normal for anybody in the world. But what you said made it sound like most Americans have desire to see America. Specifically, to travel within the United States. And you feel proud of that, which shows it is tied to love for your country. I am not trying to criticize it, just saying what I think.

If you two Americans, you and BC there are representative of the average American attitude, in other words that as you say, many Americans take pride in having travelled within the USA, I'm saying I don't think that attitude exists much in Canada. No, I don't see it in our national consciousness, our sense of duty, obligation, or pride having to do with travelling within Canada.

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Guest American Woman
Please accept my questions as valid. They are not a criticism of you. Remember the spirit of the thread is why our mindsets are different.

My questions, my points, are valid, too - but you seem to ignore them.

I think you love your country and want to be proud of it, which is pretty normal for anybody in the world. But what you said made it sound like most Americans have desire to see America. Specifically, to travel within the United States.

What I actually said is there's absolutely nothing wrong with the desire to see the U.S.; ie: with the desire to see one's own country, learn about one's own history firsthand. As I said, why should seeing Canada be more of a priority for a European than a Canadian? Can you explain that to me?

And you feel proud of that, which shows it is tied to love for your country. I am not trying to criticize it, just saying what I think.

You think I feel proud that Americans want to travel the U.S.? Are you proud that Canadians don't want to see their own country; travel within Canada? I'm not sure what you're reading into what I've said, so I'm not sure of your responses.

If you two Americans, you and BC there are representative of the average American attitude, in other words that as you say, many Americans take pride in having travelled within the USA, I'm saying I don't think that attitude exists much in Canada.

Where have I said anything about "pride?" I'm not following you....

No, I don't see it in our national consciousness, our sense of duty, obligation, or pride having to do with travelling within Canada.

Again. I have to wonder what you are reading into what I'm saying. I'm saying that there's something to be said for traveling within one's own nation, learning one's own history, in response to the criticism in that regard. I'm saying Americans enjoy that. Where you're getting that I see it as a "sense of duty, obligation, and pride" is a mystery to me. I've never said any such thing. I'm saying that there's no more pride to be had in not learning about one's nation, not traveling one's nation, but rather traveling abroad - often just for the shopping/weather experience. It seems to me that some Canadians take pride in the idea that more Canadians than Americans travel abroad.

But if you think your government doesn't want to see Canadians traveling within Canada, I would say that's a false notion; what government doesn't want to see tourist dollars spent at home?

Edited by American Woman
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That's not "nationalism;" that's a deliberate slight - aimed at the U.S., of course, but takes into account many more.

Moreover...the U.S. is critical to defining the Canadian identity. Feeling smothered by Americana, some lash out at the Americans who mostly don't pay any attention to Canada. Those who do, get the brunt of their discontent. That's OK...I can still see the USA in a Chevrolet, even if Ontario auto workers built it. They need some American jobs!

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My questions, my points, are valid, too - but you seem to ignore them.

I know they are valid. You're right, I did ignore tham the first time, because you sounded angry, and I didn't want to talk to someone angry.

Are you angry? Because I think you are. If so, I didn't want to make you angry. I only wanted to talk about some differences in what Americans find important about America, and Canadians for Canada.

No Canadians have responded to my question. Maybe, no one else is listening to this thread.

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I know they are valid. You're right, I did ignore tham the first time, because you sounded angry, and I didn't want to talk to someone angry.

So why did you respond, if you (wrongly) thought I was angry, and didn't want to talk to someone angry - ignoring the valid points I made? Since you thought I was angry, did you think avoiding my valid points would make me somehow less angry?

Are you angry? Because I think you are.

And I think your preconceived ideas overpower anything I actually have to say.......

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So why did you respond, if you (wrongly) thought I was angry, and didn't want to talk to someone angry - ignoring the valid points I made? Since you thought I was angry, did you think avoiding my valid points would make me somehow less angry?

And I think your preconceived ideas overpower anything I actually have to say.......

I wasn't sure if you were angry or not, that's why I asked you. This goes back to what I said before. Maybe we can't ever cross the divide. We're not even speaking the same language. It's a fundamental misunderstanding

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Guest American Woman

This is such a good video as to how we Europeans view Americans:

I could tell you a lot of Toivo and Aino jokes to demonstrate how "we Americans view Finlanders." wink.png

Toivo and Aino head for the Motor City. When they get across the bridge they see a sign that reads "DETROIT LEFT." So they turn around and go home.

Edited by American Woman
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I think they're hating on America because American culture is supposidly everywhere - but I'd like to know who's putting a gun to their heads, making them buy McDonald's and Coca Cola and pizza and Nikes and whatever. I can see the resentment for our culture being brought into their country, but they can be angry with their government for allowing it - and they can most definitely not buy the products themselves. If American companies didn't get any business, they wouldn't still be there. So who's to blame that "American culture" is everywhere?

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