Aspects of an American
America may not be the healthiest country in the world; it may not even be wealthiest country, but does that really matter? Did you know that there are 313 million Americans, and 46 million of them are on welfare? (40 Weird Facts About the United States That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe). But does that really prove anything about what an American is? Looking to the fact above, people think that Americans are selfish because they keep the wealth for themselves, when it would be a lot more helpful to someone else. But, just because so many people are on welfare, doesn’t mean that Americans don’t work as hard as they can to be able to support themselves and their families.
Not only that, but America has this beautiful thing that is called acceptance. America accepts that it has those types of people in this country, but America accepts all different ethnicity, religions, ideals and so much more. But once again, does any of that really prove what it means to be an American?Americans have tons of qualities that define who they are, some of the most prominent qualities are that they mostly do things for the benefit of their well-being, they are hardworking individuals, also, they accept a variety of concepts. What is means to be an American is definitely a topic that will vary throughout the populous. One lousy detail of many Americans is that they are exceptionally selfish.
A quote that supports the fact that Americans are selfish is in Maureen Dowd’s paper, and she says,”We will modify food in any way we want and send it to any country we see fit at prices that we and we alone determine in the cargo ships we choose at the time we set” ( Dowd). In Maureen Dowd’s article called, “Liberties: Drill, Grill and Chill” she is being completely satirical which is a literary work in which human faults are attacked through irony, sarcasm, or wit. Throughout the entire paper she is picking at the faults of Americans, but in the specific part where the quote is found, she is talking about how Americans will do whatever they want, when they want, when they see fit. This quote specifically relates to how an American is selfish because when it says, “We will modify food in any way we want and send it to any country we will see fit.” This means that we can change the food to whatever we want, even if it affects other people in a negative way, but as long as it doesn’t affect them it doesn’t matter what happens. This is considered to be selfish because Americans are only concerned with how it would affect them in a negative way.
Also when it says, “Prices that we see fit,” it means that if America wants to make the prices ridiculous that is okay because it doesn’t affect us, just other countries, backing up the idea that America is one selfish country. Although selfishness is a terrible quality, America makes up for it with the phenomenal qualities that it has. One of the best qualities that an American has, is that they are undeniably one of the hardest group of working people out there. Edward L. Hudgins argues that an American is anyone who strives to obtain the American principles that the United States of America has to offer. In “What is an American?” by Edward L.
Hudgins, it says, “An American is anyone who understands that to achieve the best in life requires action, exertion, effort. Americans aren’t idle daydreamers; they take the initiative. Fortune did not fall into my grandpops’ hands. He had traveled to America several times before 1930 to find work, establish himself, and make it possible to bring over the family. He toiled for years to achieve his dream, but achieve it he did” (Hudgins). In his paper, he uses his grandfather as an example as to what it means to be an American.
But to even take it a step further, in the quote it can be seen how hard he worked to try to achieve what he wanted in life. Edward’s grandfather knew that it was going to be hard to achieve his dream of being able to come to America, but that never stopped him. He took the initiative and came to America several times to be able to carry his fantasy out. Also, to top it all off, his grandfather didn’t do all the work it took to be able to live and thrive in America for himself. Edward’s grandfather also was trying to make a steady life in America so that his family could come to America as well.
Another point to be made about the quote is that when it says, “He toiled for years to achieve his dream, but achieve it he did,” that means nothing was just handed to him. Edward’s grandfather worked at what he wanted for years, and even then he had to work remarkably hard to be able to get what he wanted. Even though this is a great quality that Americans tend to have, being hardworking is just the start. Another exceptional quality that an American has, is that they are extremely accepting of people of a variety of status. In “What is an American?,” Peter Ferrera says that “Americans welcome people from all lands, all cultures, all religions because they are not afraid. They are not afraid that their history, their religion, their beliefs, will be overrun or forgotten.
That is because they know they are free to hold their religion, their beliefs, their history, as each of them choose” (Ferrera). In the paper, by Peter Ferrera, he is talking about the good aspects of Americans, but in this specific part, he is talking about how an American is accepting. Americans have already established a pretty nifty history for themselves including declaring themselves separate from Great Britain, fighting for their independence in the Revolutionary War, which all lead to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Within the Bill of Rights it allows there to be freedom of religion which is talked about in the quote above. America isn’t scared to accept people of different natures because the Americans in the United States of America have already established a history worth noting.
Therefore, nothing/ no one is going to come in and take over everything because it has already been established. The question of who an American is is different to every individual because everyone has their own ideas and principles. Although people have their ideas on what an American is, it can be agreed upon that they are indeed selfish. But two make up for the characteristic of selfishness, Americans also inquire the qualities of hard-working, and being very accepting. Many Americans do take things for granted, and also do things just to benefit themselves, but that doesn’t mean that everything else about Americans is bad. Americans work hard for what they want in life, nothing is ever handed to them.
Also Americans accept people of many different varieties open, and willingly. Although all these qualities may seem likedifferent characteristics, they all tie together to display what an American truly is.