Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Visiting America, Part 2


"I felt a sense of safety and freedom as soon as I landed at the airport in America."


A few days after the first visit, our South African friend returned and we were able to continue our fascinating and informative conversation. Having the experience of living in two countries where there had been severe hardship due to political upheaval and communist influence, he  warned us that Americans must not feel guilty for who they are or what they have accomplished. "Americans have a lot to be proud of," he said.

 People get what they have through hard work, but others want them to feel they have cheated or got it "off the backs of the less fortunate."  They have a warped sense of how wealth is created, since they believe there is a limited supply of prosperity. Therefore, they teach that if someone is living comfortably, they must be making someone else uncomfortable, and if someone is rich, then someone else must be poor.  This is certainly not true at all.  Free enterprise, as practiced in America, allows money to flow freely from hand to hand, and keeps the economy alive while allowing people to prosper. Each person who works can buy something from someone else who works, who then can pay someone else for some service or product he needs. Wealth is passed from one to another and people may save or spend as they like.


 When communism, often hiding behind the terms progress, hope, and liberation, takes over a country, it deadens the economy by preventing free exchange of goods and products. It takes over private business, and taxes people so much that they can no longer afford to run a business or buy anything. Eventually no one has any money and if they did, there would be nothing to buy.


    We talked at length about the concept of America, and related to him the belief that any country in the world could be like America by following certain foundational principles of belief, economics, and self-government. Many other countries have similar constitutions and laws as we do, but they are largely ignored by the population.  The difference here is that ordinary Americans still have respect for law and order, and are happiest when guarding those laws, preserving them for the safety of everyone. In fact, they had a hand in creating these laws in the first place.  Americans seem to understand more than the letter of the law: they understand the principles behind the laws, which make them safe and protect them. Attempts are being made to corrupt those laws and create laws which make good people miserable, but good laws which reward the good and punish the violators, are still in effect here.


The web is one of the last frontiers of free expression, free exchange of ideas,  and free enterprise, but the communists never sleep while they devise new schemes of destroying this. Probably anyone who is familiar with message boards or blogs will be able to identify a phrase that is being used now: self-appointed.  No matter what the subject is that is being discussed, someone will make the comment that someone is a self-appointed expert, leader, or preacher, who is telling others what to believe. One does not have to look far on the web to find a news story or blog where someone has called someone else a self-appointed expert, or self-appointed religious leader, or self-appointed teacher. 

Both phrases try to indicate some kind of human rights violation, when in fact, they are nothing of the sort. Americans on the whole, do not depend on hierarchy in government or religion, and have learned to be innovative, inventive, creative do-it-yourself types of people. They must not listen to the discouragers who want to prevent them from being do-it-yourself-ers. Anyone can have a radio station, write a newspaper or magazine, have a blog, or broadcast their beliefs. It is still a basic American right, but it must be guarded carefully so that those who wish to destroy it cannot succeed.

Our visitor touched on several  topics and said, "Americans have a lot to be proud of."

Young People in America: He was pleasantly greeted by young people everywhere, who were quick to say "Sir" or "excuse me" or "thank you." "I never met anyone in America who was rude. People were not just polite, they were also very helpful. For years I had been told that the teenagers and children in America were terrible. I dreaded meeting them, but found quite the opposite was true: they were always polite."

Driving in America: Americans drive at an even speed, give way to one another, and drive together at the same speed. They are taught defensive driving classes and they do drive defensively, and carefully.  The roads are wonderfully kept, and the white or yellow lines always looked freshly painted. A person would have to be driving very carelessly in order to have an accident, and when there is an accident, it is broadcast on the evening news. Driving in America, even on the winding roads in remote areas, is enjoyable."I never once, in 4 states, saw lines that were faded. Their road signs are all very clear and very easy to see...I loved driving in America and especially enjoy driving American cars...Americans drive much slower, and safer...I never felt safer driving anywhere, than in America."



Small Towns and Out-of-the Way Places: Unlike some countries, small towns and places off the beaten track in America  are not in any way unpleasant, isolated, or primitive. Each small town that I saw had its own harbour, airstrip, shopping mall, police station, fire department, parks and well-paved roads. Homes in country areas have conveniences and comforts. In cities, houses look freshly painted, or else have a high quality paint on them.





.

"To me, the combination of paint (which either lasts very well or is new) combined with the fact that you don't see plastic papers or tin cans or rubbish on the streets ANYWHERE... just makes most American towns delightful. Furthermore, the roads are well painted with clear yellow and white stripes. It is not like in South Africa where you can drive down a road and you have to guess where the centre line or other signs are."


Bridges in America: Our visitor from South Africa was completely enthralled with the bridges he saw here. He was impressed with their height and design, allowing very tall ships to pass under without a problem,  and spent some time taking pictures of them. "The white lines on the road were well-marked, even on the bridges...in my own country, roads and road safety is neglected."



Freedom:
"The real threat to this country are the people who are destroying it from within by wanting to turn it into a socialist state. If they succeed, and they destroy the industry and progress of this country... yes, then it would be in danger at a future date. If the illegals flood in, and they teach their children to hate America... then yes... America will be in danger.
To me, it seems as if the illegals flooding in, and the subversion and radicalisation of the Democratic party are the real dangers. There are some crazy people here who are starting to bend the rules which have served this country so well for so long... and this Fifth column is very dangerous. They are subverting the next generation with their junk ideas.
The assault on this country is coming from many sides - both external and internal.




"The more I mull America over, the more I also gain respect for the men who originally created it. Most Americans themselves have completely forgotten about their founding fathers and have little knowledge of their intellectualism and what they tried to do. Sadly, many have flaunted a lot of deep and brilliant ideas and so America has moved more away from the loose binding they once had."

While visiting America, he talked to Barbara Simpson on the radio and said that his impression of America was that it was a free enterprise system that was working, Americans were mild people not easily angered, who worked extremely hard, were very hospitable and enjoyed life.

Television: Although only here for 3 weeks, and only staying in the homes of friends, rather than motels, the people he visited did not watch television.



First Impressions: "...as I stood on the pavement watching the cars, watching the people and looking at the surrounding buildings, etc I thought to myself: IT JUST DOESN'T GET BETTER THAN THIS. THERE IS NO WAY YOU CAN IMPROVE ON THIS...I saw civilisation, and I loved it, and I still think: YOU CAN'T GET BETTER THAN THAT!"

 





Success in America:  Laws, like the roads and cars, work so well in America, that the only way people can mess up their lives, is to do so personally, by living without the guidance and help that is available.

The Feeling: He was not able to completely expess his impressions of America, except to say there was a feeling, or atmosphere there which was unlike any other, although he had travelled outside of his country before. America was different to anything he had ever seen or known, and although it was not all perfect and not everything was superior to his own country, there was a freedom and a feeling of safety that was not present in other places.

Logic: Roads, bridges, cities, laws, cars, airports,  broadcasting,  business and enterprise, (you name it)-- in America, it seem to be conducted with a lot of logic, whereas, he stated in his country and other countries he knew of, the illogical seemed to win over the logical.

Go here for Part 1 of Visiting America.

Go Here to listen to the two parts of the Barbara Simpson interview of a South African's impressions of America. (link coming soon)

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

Very interesting to read of your visitor's perspective. Often, we either become complaicent, or forgetful of the good we enjoy in our countries (writing from Australia); it is all too easy to fall into the habit of becoming 'knockers' = knocking this or that about how the place is run, rather than standing back and seeing what we do have. Australia is a very blessed nation; the balance between regulation and enterprise is still acceptable, but has been directly threatened and chipped away by the liberal/radical left of the Labor Party and Greens (who both function without a faith toolbox) the last great Labor leader who espoused the importance of Faith in the public arena re ethical and moral legislation was the late great B. A. Santamaria. the party split over this issue, and was emasculated of Christian foundations for moral and ethical governance and law (values shared by all orthodox major faiths, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and even elements of Bhudism.
the radical left look for the ever elusive secular utopia (forgetting the straits that have plagued nations such as Russia and China as a result of their systems...

http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2010/s3048959.htm

or the tragedy that is (or rather, was), the Aral sea.

Subsidiarity provides an antidote to both pernitious capitalism and communism alike.

Read the works on ecconomics, and the structure and running of a society by:

G. K. Chesterton
and
Fr. Vincent Mc.Nabb.

Also research the phenomena that is the 'Servile State' that you may be on your guard.

LadyLydia said...

Sarah,
Alexis de Toqueville visited America in 1831 and said that free enterprise prevented political unrest. When people were busy minding their own business, working hard and inventing better ways of working their business, they were less likely to create trouble or envy.

We allowed the politics of envy to control our nation. That is one thing that communists depend upon in order to exert control over people.

Homeschool on the Croft said...

There's so much I could say in response, but only having very little time, I just want to respond to the comments on the politeness of young Americans. We visited your wonderful country 2 years ago for the first time ever. The pleasantness and manners of the young - in fact, of everyone - blew us away.
We have always loved America in our hearts, but having visited, its place in our hearts is cemented. We eat, sleep and drink your country...!
...Love, Anne ....whose family is very thankful for where God has placed them, but whose hearts all go across the Atlantic every day!

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

Indeed. You are one of the few who genuinely understand the difference between Free enterprise, and Capitalism. Free Enterprise at its heart is subsidiarist in nature.

Subsidiarity allows free enterprise to run in such a way that people have no need to be negatively envious of what others are doing/have done because it is local in nature, hence it protects against ravenous multi-national cartels and monopolies from crushing the work of the local business community, thus facilitating greater individual, local endeavour.

http://www.distributist.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Thank for this series, very interesting. We don't appreciate what we have, and in fact, we often glorify other countries and disparage our own. I found the part about the roads and driving, as well as the lack of garbage in the streets, especially interesting. How we take this "little" things for granted!

~ Ann

Anonymous said...

Your election results are facinating, by the way; republican congress, and just a whisker away from a republican senate also. Increasing numbers of pro Life candidates have made it into Govt.

The UK Election results were similar after a fashion, with the Lib Dems and Conservatives forced into coalition. Australia didn't escape either, with our Labor party only winning power because three out of four independants backed it, plus a greens memberin the House of Reps for the first time. next year (we don't have mid-terms), but the Senate doesn't change immediately following a change of Govt), we will have 9 greens!! (tragically there are few who are protectors of the right to life and sanctity of hetrasexual marriage in power, and things may change negatively there... However, the Hung Parliament situation we found ourselves in has mirrored the key anglosphere players. it is my fervant hope and prayer that as we move further into the 21st century, we shall shake off the yoke of the Culture of Death, embracing once more, as a society, the Culture of Life, that our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will be able to look back on the 20th century, and early years of the 21st century as nothing more than a distructive 100 years or so of unrestrained rebellious disobedience to god's law )be one orthodox Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Bhudist, Sikh) and give thanks for the quiet champions of the way of life, as you, along with countless other women and men are...champions that will restore civility, decency, modesty, propriety and family, following in the footsteps of the Old Testament prophets and our Saviour Himself, who championed the 'widow and orphan, the broken, the disabled, upon whose example and teachings the early Church Fathers, and those who followed them, built.

,

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

Thank you for another wonderful, thought-provoking post. I love the part about "self-appointed." I agree that it is elitists that insist on some sort of credential. After all, Benjamin Franklin was self-educated and sort of self-appointed. It doesn't take a university to acquire knowledge. In fact, I would rather explore books on my own than have a professor cram his agenda down my throat.

I was brought up by a socialist father, who belonged the electrical union. He believed corporations and busness owners kept the working man down. The chip on my father's envious shoulder is as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon. I married an entrepreneur and capitalist. Although our business is small, we create jobs for several people that otherwise would not exist. From my studies over the years, I've discovered the only person that can keep someone down in a free-market economy is themselves. If they don't like the pay or the conditions, they can move on or start their own business. You are right; the sin of envy creates a climate for socialism. Hard work made America great and is the only thing that will save her, God willing.

Ginger

LadyLydia said...

Homeschool on the Croft: Indeed, a large portion of America was settled by brave Scots, and Ulster-Scots, who knew, like I said in my article, that the only way to fail was by violating certain Biblical principles of honesty, hard work, diligence, creativity and innovatiion. Just as following the paved, well marked roads and clear signs will help you arrive safely at your destination, unless you personally fail to follow them, following the old paths, where the good walk is, will help anyone to arrive at their destination in life. Most people here know that you can avoid certain pitfalls in life and not mess up your life. Others believe that someone is to blame and they should compensate those who mess up their own lives.

LadyLydia said...

Ginger,

He was extremely impressed with the system of free enterprise. By it, as in Biblical economics, a person may enjoy the payment for his labour and then purchase things that reward him for his labour and then enjoy the things he has earned, and help others in their destiny as well. My parents raised a large family in the wilderness and yet we had wonderful comforts and most fathers in those days, as described by Alexis de Tocqueville in 1831, lived as though they were upper class lords, even in their small cabins. He described the average American he stayed with as a hard worker and the women of the homes were like elegant ladies in their homespun clothes, and the children enjoyed carefree childhoods. One particular scene he described was the man in his cabin late after work, enjoying the fire in the fireplace, while the children luxuriated on rugs in front of the fireplace. The women were hard workers too but enjoyed their leisure time with fancy work that was similar to that found in rich houses in Europe. He enjoyed describing the contrasts in America--where a seemingly poor man by European standards, might actually be richer than the European and especially rich in character and good works. Money was a tool used to help them in their enterprise, and it was passed so freely from one business to another, that most everyone prospered in some way. He said, and I can't quote it exactly, that free enterprise kept people from envy.

Mary Beth said...

This was REALLY interesting. It seems that we sure do take an awfully lot for granted. I think that what makes the U.S. unique has to do with our foundation in God. The fact is, EVERY nation is a Christian nation because Christ is the authority over all. The Lord "sets up kings and he deposes them" as we are told in Daniel. Yep, every nation is a Christian nation under Christ and so what makes us different from every other country is that at one time WE recognized it. I pray that we may again.

LadyLydia said...

America is not America only because of a location. It exists because of a belief. When people carry in their hearts the belief that they must care for their families and work without being dependent upon the government, and teach their children the values of the Bible, there will be a different feeling in the country. ANY place can have this kind of atmosphere if they have that training and desire deep in their hearts. The problem is, you get people coming from other countries who are used to living ONLY by laws and not by a conscientious, heart-felt determination to do what is right and to help others while doing your duty before God and man. Without that, laws are just useless words which people shrug at. I believe that every American should read about the principles behind the establishment of this country because it is more than a place. It is a belief. Alexis de Tocqueville, author who came to America in 1831 and wrote a book about his visit, stated that Americans were all DIFFERENT but had the SAME goals. That is something to be pondered and analyzed.

Anonymous said...

Your comment Lady Lydia at 9:18 pm was thought provoking to me. I had never thought of how people entering this country came from countries unlike ours and so therefore their slant on how to conduct themselfs and how the government was viewed etc would be different. They might need a course in the changes they would encounter here given to them by good friends who grew up here. Ones that know about their old country.How our governmet differs from theirs and therefore how our people respond to each other. It could take some time though for the new people to get a real grasp on their new life. I was so glad and somewhat surprised at the observations of this man. Our roads and such do not seem as nice as the ones he described.. glad he found his driving so smoothly. Also glad he did not view and tv! :)! Yes he is right we are blessed to live in such a country and he opened my eyes to know there is still so much beauty and good outsiders can still see here. We are a wonderful country and we need to work to keep it so. I have never put it down in any way publically but was getting worried inside about some of the way Waashington is going and such for sure. This makes me want to go out and roll up my sleeves and work harder and study more about our founders and principles of government and make sure the little ones know it too.Thankyou for sharing his story. It and your comments have had gotten me thinkng in many ways. Sarah

LadyLydia said...

The characters and shennanigans of Washington DC do not represent the American character! Those in govt are like aliens to us. They are totally out of touch with what Americans are really like and how they live. They live in a neverland of make believe.

LadyLydia said...

Yes, people from other lands must not come and expect "business as usual" to go on the way they conduct it in their homeland. In many countries there is a all-for-self attitude and a rip-off type of attitude.Cheating bribes, lies, etc. are normal to these people. This is not part of the American scene, as they find out when they come here. As the visitor said, Americans are quite mild and tolerant, and it is not very smart to get them upset.

LadyLydia said...

More about Alexis de Tocqueville (America ReVisited) who wrote about America in the 1830's:

In Democracy in America, published in 1835, Tocqueville wrote of the New World and its burgeoning democratic order. Observing from the perspective of a detached social scientist, Tocqueville wrote of his travels through America in the early 19th Century when the market revolution, Western expansion, and Jacksonian democracy were radically transforming the fabric of American life. He saw democracy as an equation that balanced liberty and equality, concern for the individual as well as the community. Tocqueville's impressions of American religion and its relationship to the broader national culture are likewise notable:

"Moreover almost all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same. In the United States the sovereign authority is religious, and consequently hypocrisy must be common; but there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.
The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren traditionary faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live.

There are certain populations in Europe whose unbelief is only equaled by their ignorance and their debasement, while in America one of the freest and most enlightened nations in the world fulfills all the outward duties of religion with fervor.

Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more did I perceive the great political consequences resulting from this state of things, to which I was unaccustomed. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country."



I believe that every citizen should read about de Tocqueville's observations, because he expresses the spirit of the American makeup so well.

Anonymous said...

In the 1970's my husbands grandparents came for a visit from a foreign country. They loved America. It was like nothing they'd ever seen before and they were middle class, ordinary people living a comfortable life in their own country.

I also hear stories from my husband's parents about their own life now in a foreign country. They live abroad a few months out of the year, and the amount of red tape one must go through to accomplish even the simplest things like setting up phone service is just astounding, not to mention the fact that just by crossing the street (let alone driving) one is endangering one's life. People are such barbarians there when behind the wheel and the painted lines are only decorations. Then there is the bribery and dishonesty in business which is rampant.

My own stepmother is from the Philippines and is living a wonderful life here in America. Her standard of living improved from the moment she landed in America. When I saw pictures of her recent trip back to the Philippines, I was shocked at how her family lived, and I never again wondered why she would mail every gift I ever gave her to her sisters and the rest of her family.

Anonymous said...

That is what happens when business is not allowed to freely function and compete. We are in danger of the same thing happenning here if we allow the government to take over business. Government knows nothing about shopkeeping, health care, or sales. They only know how to have power and how to run things into the ground. They cannot manage their own budget and yet millions pour into their pockets, so how in the world can we trust them with the economy? Have a look at other countries and see how business cannot function as smoothly as it does here, due to the tremendous government interference and control.

Anonymous said...

America is not as it is because of laws but because of values and laws written on the hearts of people. If people do not have a basic concern about their soul and about the lives of others, then white lines are nothing to be concerned about. LIfe is devalued when people are not directed by the word of God.

Anonymous said...

Children as well as adults, must learn to have respect for law, but it must go further than that in order to work. If a child only obeys because it is a rule he may never have enough reason to keep that law in his heart. The laws must have meaning and must be for a greater purpose.

LadyLydia said...

I agree with the Australian that it is also a place with good roads and facilities, and even out of the way places have everything a person needs. The people there are hard workers and very creative, at least the ones I know! And we of course enjoy reading what Sarah, the blind lady who uses a braille keyboard, in Australia writes and can tell her knowledge and curiosity and studiousness is excellent,

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...