+
upworthy
Democracy

People are sharing the things America does best. Here are 17 things they're totally right about.

National Parks? Yep.

america, america does best, reddit
via Pexels

Someone throwing up a heart around Old Glory.

If you watch the news all day, you’ll probably think that America is a politically divided, dangerous, bigoted, contentious, depressing place that’s slowly losing its grip on being a world power. That’s because there are very few media outlets that can stay in business reporting good news. (Unless they’re Upworthy, of course.)

Humans have a negativity bias, so they are much more interested in hearing about the world’s problems than what’s going well. That makes it easy for them to develop a warped view of their country and the world that is much more negative than it should be.

Thousands of people on Reddit came together to make people feel a lot better about being an American recently after a user named KyleB2131 asked, “What does America do better than most other countries?” The post received thousands of responses from Americans and people abroad about the things that truly make the country great.


=

A lot of the responses are about how America excels in innovation and has wonderful topography highlighted by a fantastic system of national parks. Americans are also incredibly creative and make the best entertainment in the world.

“This may be one of my favorite Reddit threads of all time,” a Reddit user named BigPlainV wrote. “Being tuned in to American mass media makes me feel like I live in the most fucked up armpit of the world. This thread has single handedly made me proud to be an American again.”

“The American mass media, I believe, is our biggest downfall,” circ2day added. “Because bad news makes more money than good news, that's all we get. Everything is aggressively sensationalized for the sake of getting views. This makes America look incredibly bad to outsiders.”

Here are 17 of the best responses to the question, “What does America do better than most other countries?”

1. 

"Turning corn into things that are not corn." — rlemon

2. 

"I was going to say cornbread but everyone said rest stops. Have y’all ever had cornbread?" — Admirable-Ad-2554

3. 

"I love the Interstate Rest Areas on road trips. I'm a Canadian from the west coast, and was always VERY impressed with the 24/7 rest areas. Clean washrooms, nice grassy areas for dogs, picnic tables, and a lot of times people selling crafts, or offering free coffee!

"I've only driven through the western states, (WA,OR,CA,NV,UT,AZ) but yeah, those rest areas were always reliable. Always well-marked signs when the next one was coming up. Just made everything about traveling easier! Thanks, neighbors!" — Ubba-Ga

4. 

"Jazz." — PuzzleheadReveal58

5. 

"National Parks." — Big-Win6220

SmellLikeSheepSpirit added:

"Absolutely. People complain about crowds at the national parks, but this is somewhat by design. As you mention the American national parks are very accessible, they have handicapped trails. They have large educational visitor stations. They have viewpoints on the roads. They're meant to "market" the outdoors to the masses. They're a "park" much like an urban park is. Most have truly amazing drives that give a great sampling of what they offer.

"They also have amazing landscapes that see much less usage only a few miles out. People miss the point that they work for both the layperson/day visitor AND the person who will spend 5 days in a roadless wilderness. And of course there are wilderness designations for that reason."

6. 

"Make sure there's ice in your beverage." -- HegemoniHarbinger

DJ33 added:

"I asked where the ice machine was in a hotel in Dublin and the woman at the desk thought I was damaged in the head. She'd clearly never, ever had anyone ask that before."

7. 

"Buffets. No buffet I’ve had can beat the one’s I had in the states." — sueRiot

8. 

"Music — The United States is the birthplace of Blues, Jazz, Rock and Roll, Hip Hop, Punk, Bluegrass, Country-Western, Rap, and a half a dozen different forms of regional folk music. Nearly every culture in the world imitates our musical forms." — Mike the Bard

9. 

"While we have a LONG way to go, the USA is comparatively better than a lot of places regarding supporting people with disabilities." — Kittenesque02

10. 

"The ability of the American farmer to produce food. It is really staggering the amount of food that is grown here." — fat-dum-stoopid

11. 

"Women's sports are really well supported here - so are female athletes. Despite many things Americans might say about it - if you go to other countries female athletics is really almost non-existent." — Juls7243

12. 

"America wins EVERY Super Bowl!" — Leyline

13. 

"Air conditioners everywhere and free public restrooms. You have to pay to use the restrooms in Europe." — SnooDoughnuts231

14. 

"Business. Hands down. It’s their biggest advantage in my opinion. Deals with Americans just get done easier. Compared to other countries American businesses are more open-minded to new things, don’t try to fuck you over, want a win for both sides, want simpler agreements, negotiate fairly, hold up their end of the bargain, etc.

"If you have even done business internationally you really see what a strong advantage it is. Other countries everyone is fucking everyone over, or are close-minded, slow as snails, and obsessed with bureaucracy. Commerce just flows better there." — Stopinstinker

15. 


"Think big and be bold. I am originally from Europe where people often just think small." — throwaway32132190432

16.

"Serious answer? Logistics. We're quite a large country and we've gotten very good at moving things around." — weirdoldhobo1978

17. 

"Chatting, I’m from an Asian country where most people will avoid talking to stranger. But you can literally talk to anyone you met in the street in the US and most of them are willing to talk." — _formosa_

Family

Married couple swears by the '3-Hour Night' as a relationship game changer

"If you’re stuck in a rut with your evenings — try this!"

@racheleehiggins/TikTok

Want out of a relationship rut? The Three hour night might be the perfect solution.

Almost every long term relationship suffers from a rut eventually. That goes especially for married partners who become parents and have the added responsibility of raising kids. Maintaining a connection is hard enough in this busy, fast paced world. Top it off with making sure kids are awake, dressed, entertained, well fed, oh yeah, and alive…and you best believe all you have energy for at the end of the day is sitting on the couch barely making it through one episode on Netflix.

And yet, we know how important it is to maintain a connection with our spouses. Many of us just don’t know how to make that happen while juggling a million other things.

According to one mom, a “three-hour night” could be just the thing to tick off multiple boxes on the to-do list while rekindling romance at the same time. Talk about the ultimate marriage hack.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

Comedian shuts down heckler cop after joke about police violence

“You disrespected me, so I’ll disrespect you.”

via Steve Hostetter

A comedian defends himself against a heckler police officer.

Some people just haven't gotten the memo: You really don't want to heckle comedian Steve Hofstetter. He's become one of my favorite stand-up acts both because he's just funny but also because of his brilliant ways of shutting down hecklers and other rude patrons who show up for his live act.

In this case, Hofstetter was in the middle of a bit where he quipped, "I don't like people." It was part of a larger joke recalling how he'd had a bad interaction with a police officer but that he was "still alive" because he was a white male.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

Trying to guess which twin smokes is the perfect way to help you quit

Nobody would call smoking “glamorous” after seeing these comparisons.

Image via Wolters Kluwer Health.

Which twin smoked?

It's not revolutionary news that smoking wreaks havoc on your body in different ways. More often than not, however, the focus of anti-smoking campaigns is on your internal health, citing emphysema, heart disease, and lung cancer, to name just a few consequences.

While the superficial effects may not be as lethal, appealing to people's sense of vanity can have a powerful effect as this clever gallery below shows. Twins, only one of whom smokes, sit side by side, showing the profound damage smoking can cause to your face, hair, and teeth.

The twins' circumstances vary in each set of pictures, but the differences and effects are undeniable. In some instances, one of the twins never smoked. In others, the "smoking" twin had smoked for at least five years longer than the other "non-smoking" twin.

Though they're not common knowledge, the effects of smoking on your appearance are predictable and consistent. You can identify a smoker with ease if you know what you're looking for. Harmful smoke, dehydration, and even the heat from a burning cigarette can damage your complexion, hair, and eyes. The photos below helpfully point out the symptoms and effects on the smoking twin.

Keep ReadingShow less

An English doctor named Edward Jenner took incredible risks to try to rid his world of smallpox. Because of his efforts and the efforts of scientists like him, the only thing between deadly diseases like the ones below and extinction are people who refuse to vaccinate their kids. Don't be that parent.

Unfortunately, because of the misinformation from the anti-vaccination movement, some of these diseases have trended up in a really bad way over the past several years.

Keep ReadingShow less

New baby and a happy dad.


When San Francisco photographer Lisa Robinson was about to have her second child, she was both excited and nervous.

Sure, those are the feelings most moms-to-be experience before giving birth, but Lisa's nerves were tied to something different.

She and her husband already had a 9-year-old son but desperately wanted another baby. They spent years trying to get pregnant again, but after countless failed attempts and two miscarriages, they decided to stop trying.

Keep ReadingShow less

Having lived in small towns and large cities in the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, and Midwest, and after spending a year traveling around the U.S. with my family, I've seen first-hand that Americans have much more in common than not. I've also gotten to experience some of the cultural differences, subtle and not-so-subtle, real and not-so-real, that exist in various parts of the country.

Some of those differences are being discussed in a viral thread on Twitter. Self-described "West coaster" Jordan Green kicked it off with an observation about East coasters being kind and West coasters being nice, which then prompted people to share their own social experiences in various regions around the country.

Green wrote:

"When I describe East Coast vs West Coast culture to my friends I often say 'The East Coast is kind but not nice, the West Coast is nice but not kind,' and East Coasters immediately get it. West Coasters get mad.

Niceness is saying 'I'm so sorry you're cold,' while kindness may be 'Ugh, you've said that five times, here's a sweater!' Kindness is addressing the need, regardless of tone.

I'm a West Coaster through and through—born and raised in San Francisco, moved to Portland for college, and now live in Seattle. We're nice, but we're not kind. We'll listen to your rant politely, smile, and then never speak to you again. We hit mute in real life. ALOT.

Keep ReadingShow less