10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America

10. WE MISTAKE COMFORT FOR HAPPINESS

The United States is a country built on the exaltation of economic growth and personal ingenuity. Small businesses and constant growth are celebrated and supported above all else — above affordable health care, above respectable education, above everything. Americans believe it’s your responsibility to take care of yourself and make something of yourself, not the state’s, not your community’s, not even your friend’s or family’s in some instances.

Comfort sells easier than happiness. Comfort is easy. It requires no effort and no work. Happiness takes effort. It requires being proactive, confronting fears, facing difficult situations, and having unpleasant conversations.

Comfort equals sales. We’ve been sold comfort for generations and for generations we bought: bigger houses, separated further and further out into the suburbs; bigger TV’s, more movies, and take-out. The American public is becoming docile and complacent. We’re obese and entitled. When we travel, we look for giant hotels that will insulate us and pamper us rather than for legitimate cultural experiences that may challenge our perspectives or help us grow as individuals.

Depression and anxiety disorders are soaring within the US. Our inability to confront anything unpleasant around us has not only created a national sense of entitlement, but it’s disconnected us from what actually drives happiness: relationships, unique experiences, feeling self-validated, achieving personal goals. It’s easier to watch a NASCAR race on television and tweet about it than to actually get out and try something new with a friend.

Unfortunately, a by-product of our massive commercial success is that we’re able to avoid the necessary emotional struggles of life in lieu of easy superficial pleasures.

Throughout history, every dominant civilization eventually collapsed because it became TOO successful. What made it powerful and unique grows out of proportion and consumes its society. I think this is true for American society. We’re complacent, entitled and unhealthy. My generation is the first generation of Americans who will be worse off than their parents, economically, physically and emotionally. And this is not due to a lack of resources, to a lack of education or to a lack of ingenuity. It’s corruption and complacency. The corruption from the massive industries that control our government’s policies, and the fat complacency of the people to sit around and let it happen.

There are things I love about my country. I don’t hate the US and I still return to it a few times a year. But I think the greatest flaw of American culture is our blind self-absorption. In the past it only hurt other countries. But now it’s starting to hurt ourselves.

So this is my lecture to my alcoholic brother — my own flavor of arrogance and self-absorption, even if slightly more informed — in hopes he’ll give up his wayward ways. I imagine it’ll fall on deaf ears, but it’s the most I can do for now. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some funny cat pictures to look at.

CLICK TO THE NEXT PAGE…

More From Thought Catalog

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Evyn Davis.

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Boldly go… and commented:
    very interesting read.

  • Thought Catalog
  • http://monebell2085.wordpress.com monebell2085
  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Smashed Lantern and commented:
    This article is missing things I would consider critical, like extreme unawareness about racism and sexism and the myth that we are post-race, post-sex; but it’s a very interesting read so holla

  • http://erikwestermann.com/Blog/10-things-americans-might-now-know-about-america/487/ 10 things Americans might now know about America

    […] nice post over at Thought Catalog lists some interesting facts Americans might not know about their own country. The writer, an American, says he has gained perspective as a result of living outside of the USA […]

  • http://www.ifsandsandbutts.com/2013/05/stamp-of-approval-saturday-22.html stamp of approval saturday #22. - ifs ands & butts

    […] Catalog: After nearly two years abroad, I have to say that I agree with so much of the 10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America. We just aren’t king anymore, so choke it down and move […]

  • http://detroitpistonsforum.com/forums/detroit-pistons-forum/62-bridging-gap-better-america-better-world-right-politics-thread-406.html#post168705 Bridging the Gap for a Better America. A Better World. Right?: The Politics Thread! - Page 406 - Detroit Pistons Forum

    […] interesting read: 10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America | Thought Catalog I read it with interest and found many exaggerations. DA! The section 9 (and 10) are very […]

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Tria Smothers.

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Acuario Errante.

  • http://amiinfranken.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/wednesday-and-some-links/ Wednesday, and some links | Ami in Franken

    […] brings me to this, h/t http://www.ifsandsandbutts.com, we, the US, are in fact paranoid (along with a lot of the […]

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on babybluebonny.

  • http://www.musclechemistry.com/upload/general-conversation/67046-o-t-americans.html#post634603 O/T: Americans

    […] guys, might make you see things from a slightly different angle, which isn't always a bad thing https://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/10-th…about-america/ […]

  • http://allpartoflifesrichpageant.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/7-quick-takes-volume-18/ 7 Quick Takes – Volume 18 | Life's Rich Pageant

    […] Ten Things Americans Don’t Know About America […]

  • Thought Catalog
  • http://tacomablue.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/ten-things-most-americans-dont-know-about-america/ Ten things most Americans don’t know about America | Tacoma Blue

    […] 10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America | Thought Catalog. […]

  • http://manfonhealth.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/10-things-most-americans-dont-know-about-america/ 10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America | STAY HEALTHY with SAMANTHA
  • http://christinthecity.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/this-weeks-good-reads-59/ This Week’s Good Reads | Pastor Dave Online

    […] “10 Things Most American Don’t Know About America” by Mark […]

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Benjamin Gaylor and commented:
    An amazing piece on American consciousness.

  • http://masterrussian.net/f13/ten-things-americans-dont-know-about-america-21464/#post248011 MasterRussian.NET

    […] 10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America | Thought Catalog Интересная статья! Не забывай Сердце моё Песни мои Навсегда с тобой –Юлия Савичева   […]

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Leila Dayne and commented:
    Exceptional write up!! Had to share!! Enjoy!!

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Prickly Thoughts.

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Treli Kardia and commented:
    #10 was the one that really hit home and is relevant to this blog…because it sometimes takes a Crazy Heart to break away from a comfort zone and go on that mad search for happiness. I love you, ‘Murrica, but sometimes I gotta say it…go home, you’re drunk.

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on tayhuffmane and commented:
    This is actually a really interesting and great article. I just wanted to share it with all of you because these are some of the same thoughts I have had even before I left the US.

  • http://documentthetruth.com/?p=30745 10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America « Document The Truth

    […] 10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America […]

blog comments powered by Disqus