Something that was recently pointed out to me by a foreign friend of mine is how special the American spirit truly is. It seems that even in the greatest tragedy, though we mourn for our losses and through our pains, our light never falters. We always rebuild and never does the thought that not being able to rebuild cross our minds.
Of all the various good and bad opinions and stereotypes people have around the world about us, I think that one of the most charming qualities attributed to Americans is the fact that we smile. In Russia, if you're smiling for "seemingly" no reason, such as while at the grocery store, the store clerk may ask you what's wrong with you. More recently I have had several foreign friends point out to me how much they enjoy it here, because everyone is smiling all the time. But it's not just about smiling. It's about our entire outlook on life. Overall, we are an optimistic culture and as an eternal optimist myself, it makes me smile to hear people think of us as optimists.
One of my French compadres keeps telling me that just being here makes his cold Parisian stone face feel more inclined to smile and his pessimism slowly melt away.
What we have, overall, is an unfaltering can-do attitude versus...well, a miserable one. There's never any wallowing or pitying ourselves--there's only the question of how do we move forward stronger and better?
9/11 is a good example of this optimistic attitude that is attributed to our American spirit. 13 years ago, we were hit really hard. 13 years ago, our world was completely shaken up. We cried a lot, and hugged each other a lot. We were deeply angered as well. But our compassion for one another carried us through as it always does. And that's the beauty of the American spirit.
Be excellent to each other y'all. Be excellent.
BIG LOVE & HUGS