+
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_

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

School removed a quote from a Holocaust survivor, unintentionally proving his point

"We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim."

Elie Wiesel at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2008.

A school principal in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia, asked the librarian to remove a poster featuring a quote by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel because it violated the district’s “advocacy” policy. This story was first reported by WHYY.

The poster was removed two days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“If I didn’t take it down, I knew there would be consequences that could impact me,” Matt Pecic, the school librarian said. “It’s a horrible feeling. And you feel like you have to do something that you don’t agree with.”

The controversial policy says that district employees may not “advocate” to students on “partisan, political, or social policy matters,” or display any “flag, banner, poster, sign, sticker, pin, button, insignia, paraphernalia, photograph, or other similar material that advocates concerning any partisan, political, or social policy issue.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what led to her openly breastfeeding on 'Sesame Street' in 1977

The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.

"Sesame Street" taught kids about life in addition to letters and numbers.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.

The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.

But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

This company makes it easier than ever to enjoy guilt-free fairly traded coffee

Thanks to Lifeboost, good coffee can be good for everyone.

Unsplash

Lifeboost coffee

Americans love coffee. Like, we really, seriously, truly love it. According to one recent survey, 75 percent of U.S. adults drink coffee at least occasionally, while 53 percent—about 110 million people—drink it every single day. For some, coffee is an essential part of their morning ritual. For others, it’s something they enjoy when they hit the proverbial wall in the late afternoon. But either way, millions of people use coffee to boost energy, focus, and productivity.


Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Linda Ronstadt's 1970's ballad is a chart-topping hit once again thanks to 'The Last of Us'

The iconic 70s song "Long, Long Time" was an integral part of an unforgettable episode that fans are calling a masterpiece.

Linda Ronstadt (left), Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett (right)

HBO’s emotional third episode of the zombie series “The Last Of Us” became an instant favorite among fans, thanks in no small part to Linda Ronstadt’s late 1970s ballad, “Long, Long Time.”

Using the song as the episode’s title, “Long, Long Time,” moves away from the show’s main plot to instead focus on a heartbreakingly beautiful love story between Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), from its endearing start all the way to its bittersweet end.

The song makes its first appearance during the initial stages of Bill and Frank’s romance as they play the tune on the piano, just before they share their first kiss.

We see their entire lives together play out—one of closeness, devotion, and savoring homegrown strawberries—until they meet their end. The song then plays on the radio, bringing the bottle episode to a poignant close.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

34-year-old man is learning to read on TikTok in series of motivational videos

His reading skills have improved so much that he plans to read 100 books this year.

@oliverspeaks1/TikTok

Oliver James is the biggest star on BookTok.

With over 125,000 followers, 34-year-old Oliver James is a star in the BookTok community. And it all started with a very simple goal: Learn to read.

For most kids, school is a place where they can develop a relationship with learning in a safe environment. For James, school was the opposite. Growing up with learning and behavior disabilities subjected him to abusive teaching practices in special education, which, of course, did nothing to help.

"The special education system at the time was more focused on behavioral than educating," he told Good Morning America. "So they spent a lotta time restraining us, a lotta time disciplining us, a lotta times putting us in positions to kinda shape us to just not act out in class."

Keep ReadingShow less