Hey Now –
I want to introduce you to Caroline, a new friend of mine who lives in Paris, but for the past 9 months has taken assignment in Johannesburg, SA. People like Caroline are the main reason why I love to travel – she is smart (a banker!), articulate, and has opinions and experiences different from us Americans.
So what do you think of Americans, Caroline?
Very classy and tactful answer I would say. It reminds me of a quote from Mike Tyson, of all people:
“If you are not humble…life will visit humbleness upon you” – the voice of experience wouldn’t you say?
I had some good conversations with Caroline & another new friend, Thomas ,about our differences. Thomas is my age, 52, and quite a cool guy. He is German. He markets and sells beer at the biggest brewery in Germany – not a bad gig.
The biggest thing they cannot wrap their heads around came to light when I told them I own firearms. They cannot understand why anyone besides farmers & ranchers should have guns. Big divide there. Also, the “weapons of mass destruction” debacle and the Iraq war is still an open and festering wound.
My personal take-away?
“Heavy is the head that wears the crown.” But if not us, then who?
It is tough to lead the world and we will never always be right or do the right things. We are good…actually great… but imperfect for sure. At the moment, I think a lot of Europeans’ around my age have many attitudes about America shaped over our history & policies in the Middle East. Like it or not, good or bad….that is the deal.
And my biggest take-away? Sometimes we should listen to Mike Tyson. Me included.
What are your opinions of Europeans? Of this post? Remember, hindsight is always 20/20.
Adios for now.