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America vs the World

In: English and Literature

Submitted By main753
Words 1196
Pages 5
Michael Mainor
EN106 – First Year Writing Seminar II: Academic Research & Writing
Date : April 26, 2012
America vs. the World America the Beautiful, The Home of the Brave, words that we often hear as Americans in our patriotic way of life; however, are we as Americans so egocentric and or narcissistic in our way of life that we project our thoughts and way of life onto other countries in a global sense? As defined by freedictionary.com, to be egocentric is to view things from one’s own point of view as the only right. It also defines narcissistic as to be infatuated and obsessed with one’s self to exclusion of all others in a ruthless pursuit of one’s gratification, dominance, and ambition. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud and patriotic Americans. Although most people who live in America can agree that it is a great place to live, we should not project our way of life, as the only right way, onto other countries’ cultures, or people around the world, because when we do we take the risk of being viewed as America vs. the world. In the excerpt, Moral Disagreement, by Kwame Anthony Appiah, he discusses how different perspectives to any situation and or word(s) mean different things to others based on a variety of things: culture, religion, and morals to name a few. Appiah is a native of Ghana and because of his different upbringing and perspective he views things different. For example, “Many married women lived with their brothers, visiting their husbands on a regular timetable” (Appiah 381). For most Americans this may sound very strange or wrong; however, to Akan culture this is their norm. Appiah continues to say; “There are, in short, different ways of organizing family life. Which one makes sense to you will depend, in good measure, on the concepts with which you grew up” (382). For most Americans we may disagree with the Akan culture’s family structure but as Appiah states; “This is the kind of disagreement where the struggles is not to agree but just to understand” (380). In another excerpt, From How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization, by author Franklin Foer he discusses how Americans feel about soccer on a global scale. Soccer is a game played by many people around the world and is debated as the world’s sport; however, the United States has yet to give into the debate of the global impact and popularity of soccer. Many well know American sportswriters and sport analyst have blatantly expressed their theory of how America feels about soccer. Foer quotes Allen Barra who is a well-known sportswriter for the Wall Street Journal, as saying:
Yes, OK, soccer is the most ‘popular’ game world. And rice is the most ‘popular’ food in the world. So what? Maybe other countries can’t afford football, basketball and baseball leagues: maybe if they could afford these other sports, they’d enjoy them even more (413).

It is sentiments like Barra’s comments that give America the perception of arrogance and sometimes give the perception of America vs. the world.
In an interview by ESPN sportscaster Dan Patrick, baseball commissioner Bud Selig was asked, “Will we get to a true World Series” (qtd. in Sports Illustrated 113)? We as Americans considers baseball to be America’s pastime sport and when the teams play for the national championship, which is called the World Series; it is not actually played against any other country. This brings to question, why is it called the World Series? Americans have no problem letting the world know how they feel about our favorite past time sport of baseball; however, that does not mean that we should consider American baseball any better than soccer or any other non-American sport played throughout the world. As Foer says, “The United states, with its unashamedly dynamic culture, doesn’t have too many deeply rooted, transgenerational traditions that it can claim as its own. Baseball is one of the few” (413). American’s strong beliefs and traditions with our sports are just another example of how America vs. the world may be exacerbated. To provide yet another example of how America vs. the world can be further fueled, let us take a look at the global unit of measurement. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 95 percent of the world uses the metric system as the standard unit of measurement. The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not mainly use the metric system in its commercial and standards activities, although the metric system is used globally throughout the world. Since trade and communication with other nations is critical to the health of our economy, adopting the measurement system used by 95 percent of the world's population is not a matter of choice, but a matter of necessity for the United States. Even though the United States past the Metric Conversion Act of 1975, to coordinate the plan to increase and implement the use of metric system in the United States, it was largely ignored by the American public. Due to the apparent ineffectiveness, and in an effort to reduce federal spending, the implementation of metric system in the United States was disestablished in the fall of 1982. Situations like this is what can give the United States as bad name as if we do not want to be like the rest of the world, again giving the perception of America vs. the world. From an American perspective, it can be understood how we want to hold onto our very young history for traditions and culture. Globally the United States is a relatively young country with great power but with power comes’ great responsibility. If we as Americans want to isolate ourselves from the rest of the world, this could be our demise. We need to try and understand and respect other countries’ cultures, religions, and morale way of life. Whether we think so or not, every country does not necessarily want democracy and we should not try to impose this on them for our own selfish motives. There is nothing to gain, if we as Americans isolate ourselves from the rest of the world in which we part a part of. If we do not try to understand, respect, and embrace the many differences of other countries, will isolate ourselves and in doing so we will fail to be good neighbors in this ever-shrinking global world.

Work Cited
Appiah, Kwame A. Moral Disagreement 1996. Excerpt from “From Inquiry to Academic Writing.” (p. 378-390) Bedford/St. Martin, 2008. Print
Foer, Franklin. From How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization. 2004 Excerpt from “From Inquiry to Academic Writing.” (p. 406-415) Bedford/St. Martin, 2008. Print
Greene, Stuart and Lidinsky, April “From Inquiry to Academic Writing.” Bedford/St. Martin, 2008. Print
Selig, Bud. Interview with Dan Patrick. Sports Illustrated: Life on and Off the Field. Sports Illustrated Article, Vol. 113, Issue 9, 13 Sep. 2010. Web
TheFreeDictionary.com. The Free Dictionary Online, 2010. Web. 18 Sep. 2010.
TS.nist.gov. National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2006. Web. 18 Sep. 2010

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