People around the world shared the things they admire most about Americans
Photo by Josh Johnson on Unsplash

Americans are a diverse bunch, but as a culture, we can skew towards an overconfidence-bordering-on-outright-arrogance that's less than likable on the world stage. We also have that whole "ugly American tourist" stereotype to contend with, not to mention our wonky politics as of late, so it can feel like we're viewed with disdain or pity more than admiration by our fellow humans on planet Earth.

However, when Reddit user u/Rebuildingz asked this question: "Non-Americans of Reddit, what do you admire about Americans?" the answers were kind and lovely enough to make us feel proud of our unique contribution to our global tapestry.

Here are some of the more than 7,000 comments, many of which are more about the U.S. itself than the American people, but still nice to see:

"How the national identity is so culturally mixed. it seems like If you move to France, you don't become a French; you just become a foreigner. While everyone who lives in America at all is American."lTheReader·

"The hospitality. Americans get a bad rap for being xenophobic, which I think is unfair and just based on the bad incidents we've seen in recent years. I go to the USA pretty often (I'm Irish/British), and everyone I meet is always so welcoming and friendly. Well, not EVERYONE, everywhere has bad people, but it just seems like Americans generally are a lot more open and hospitable to strangers than I'm used to at home. Like, they'll just strike up a casual conversation with you just while you're standing at a street crossing or whatever. I remember one afternoon I went into a bar in Austin for a beer, and the guy next to me just sits down and says "Yep. So I just drove a truck down from New York. Helluva trip." and we chatted for like an hour about his road trip hauling wood (or something, I can't remember lol). That doesn't happen where I'm from; just shooting the breeze with a stranger."

kutuup1989·


"The Smithsonian Museums. Very cool and very fun to walk around and see. And they're free."GullibleIdiots

"I had lunch with some Chinese friends who gushed and raved about the National Parks system. And I asked them What about China? China is as large (larger?) than America and has all the beauty, history, and different geography, etc. They said that unfortunately there is no National park system like in America. That if you want to visit a beautiful mountain range, for example, you have to pay an entry fee to access each individual mountain. Not just a general entry fee for the whole park, mind you. Everything costs money. Made me realize how fortunate we are to have the system in place. My husband gets a National Park annual pass for Christmas from his mom every year and it's so awesome to visit a park and just whip that card out and get waved through. Highly recommended."crabblue6

"Your national parks. There are so many parks that I want to visit down there. Hopefully soon after the border restrictions pass....."IamMillwright

"Having lived in 6 countries across EU and Asia, I can say the thing I admire most about America is that I can literally get anything I want. I may have to pay for them when other places offer them for free (e.g. health insurance), but whatever desire/need I suddenly form, I am 99.99999% certain I can get it. And sometimes it's not even that unique of a desire; sometimes they're just everyday things some take for granted. Like:

  1. I want to video call my family but i can't use Skype/Facetime because governments have their own paid version they force us to use.
  2. I want [to] buy arts and crafts supplies but I'm limited to a local bookstore because we don't have an infrastructure for e-commerce.
  3. I want to ship packages to my family abroad from a 'tech hub' in EU but it's a hassle because nowhere sells shipping boxes.

In comparison, America does not have the aforementioned issues and allows for satisfying the most complex or specific needs as well. Are you an immigrant who wants a taste of home? There are likely mini insert-your-country-here parts of town (even if it's a random supermarket that sells specific ingredients). Develop a unique interest or hobby? Odds are there's a convention happening within a few hours drive in the next few months. Thinking of getting some cosmetic work done? You'll probably have a pool of specialists with online ratings to choose from. Want to give up on society and live off of what you grow? There's plenty of land to choose from. Want a pet tiger? You can and will be offered a Netflix series.

America has its problems but damn I have never felt more able to pursue anything I wanted anywhere else." Nut-Flex

"Drinking fountains everywhere. And nearly all public toilets are free."bounded_operator

"The scale and grandeur. I'm used to nature being small, but everything in America is bigger - bigger storms, bigger mountains, bigger horizons. Even the sky seems more. People in America are casually dealing with everything from alligators to bears, pitching tents on the sides of cliffs and walking their dogs through literal wilderness, I genuinely feel like a hobbit watching Aragorn saunter through Middle Earth like it's nothing while I've never been beyond the end of farmer Maggot's farm before. I love it." coffee_up

"It's like each state is a whole different country and I'd like to visit them all."F*ck-tiktok·

"Fruity pebbles." Z00TH0RNZ

"How madly diverse it is. Admittedly I've only seen it on tv but the fact that the bronx and Texas are the same country is mind boggling." cdbman

"New York City. Hot Dogs. Your Friendliness. Hollywood. Yellowstone. Baseball. Ford GT. Road trips. Coke. NASA. Southern BBQ. Burgers. Yosemite. Your infectious love of the outrageous. Jaws. Your love of English accents ;). Harrison Ford. Rock and fuckin roll. Nike. Magic Mountain. Pamela Andersen. Red Vines. The Video games / animation industries. Dr Pepper. Maine Lobster Rolls. Skateboarding. Ralph Lauren. The Sopranos. Jack FM. Baskin Robbins. Car park cookouts. Wake boarding. Ruby's Diner. Long Island (Iced Tea). Eddie Murphy. Technological innovation. Soul. Southern California. Star Wars. Bronco jeeps. Key Lime Pie." – liam_crean

"The power and quality of their film and TV industry. They can make dreams and fantasies come to life. Jurassic Park to me as a child was like all my dreams had come true."SaveSwedishBeauty

"Americans always know how to get a conversation going! "Hey, where are you from?" And then they are genuinely interested in hearing the answer even if perhaps they've never heard of that place. They are great at small talk, and friendly (doesn't matter if it is "fake" sometimes, e.g. the waitress, it is still a skill to be that friendly and welcoming, in my opinion). They make people feel like a million bucks."BaileysBaileys

"I think that Americans are often quite friendly compared to Europe where I live." balticromancemyass

"Entrepreneurial spirit. In a lot of countries, including my own, failing at a business you started is seen very negatively, to the point most people will never try, as opposed to the USA where a business failing is seen as a normal part of the process and you just keep trying, taking the lessons you learned forward."Rarotunga

"I like how open-minded the people are and how much they seem to enjoy varied interests. I've found in my country, we tend to be pretty judgmental of anything we aren't used to seeing, and most people have basically the same hobbies."purple-nomad·

"That a lot of Americans are pretty chill, open, and kind people. You wanna just talk about nothing? You can do that. You have mental health issues? People aren't gonna judge. There's a problem going on and you wanna talk about it? You can do that.

In my family's culture, you must always keep to yourself if something's bothering you, always tell white lies, put up this facade of your life being rainbows and unicorns, and mental illness/disabilities/neuro divergence is frowned upon and shows you're weak. It's so suffocating."TakenByDeletedAccou

"I've always admired the American sense of rugged individualism. I've met a number of Americans and they all seem to have it to one degree or another. In its best form, it shows up as a kind of honesty that comes from supreme self-confidence and self awareness. It also includes selflessness, a kind of 'I've got all my stuff together, so I can help you out, friend.' These are the folks that worked together to tame the wild frontier, as it were. Even though he wasn't born American, I see Arnold Schwartzenegger as the ultimate American. Tom Hanks is another great example most people know.

At its worst... you get Karen." Ken_Meredith

There we have it. National parks, free restrooms, open-minded people, Arnold, Tom Hanks, and a few Karens thrown in so we don't get too big for our britches.

The U.S has its flaws and so does its people, but there really is a lot to love about us. High five, fellow Americans.







True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

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When I saw that Vincent Price was trending, I assumed that it was for something Halloween oriented. After all, the man is pretty much the king of the holiday, is he not?

Much to my ignorant surprise, that was not the case. As it turns out, one Twitterer was giving the world a crash course on all things VP, and her informative thread received so much positive attention, #VincentPrice began breaking the internet. Many, like myself, were thrilled to learn a bit more about the Halloween King, who was actually a real-life hero.

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