@aarongarcia – Thanks for getting back to me. You make some valid points. Some I agree with, and others I don’t really understand from a personal perspective. I’ll try and explain.
– The Americans I’ve worked with over the years tend to be outspoken, yes. I agree that it’s likely the environment they live in that teaches them to be that way. Unfortunately, while it’s seen as normal and proper within American society, it’s largely seen as arrogance outside of that culture. There’s a certain amount of demanded respect, or expected social standing, rather than earned respect through action. Here in New Zealand, it’s the other way around. Instead of demanding respect, we are more self deprecating. Rather, we expect NOT to be respected, unless we’ve proven time and again that we deserve it. Even then, we rarely expect respect, but instead find personal fulfillment in accomplishing the goal. Most of us feel awkward when we’re publicly commended.
– Trump is a difficult one. If you consume only MSM, then you would be forgiven for thinking he is a horrible human being. According to them, he’s sexist; racist; confrontational; unintelligent; inept; graceless; unapologetic; cocky etc. From where I stand, I can agree with some of those, but he’s also one of the strongest presidents the United States as ever seen (from an outside perspective). Not the strongest personally (I think he’s an arrogant asshole), but in terms of his goals. For the first time in almost 40 years, you had a President who wanted to fix his own country, rather than just go to war because “Oil”. Every President in the last 40+ years prior to Trump had a war to their name, and Trump is no different. His just happened to be at home. By focus on home, he did things like save the US economy and population over $30bn in health care costs; Signed into law the First Step Act; Massive tax cuts across the board etc. While he certainly has his failures, he also has made some major advances for the US.
– Here in NZ, you can go to public school and it costs practically nothing. Even as an adult, you can return to secondary school at any time to complete a course you may have failed as a teenager. We have a partially funded Polytechnic (similar to a Technical school), and University is the only place where Student Loans become an issue. But by that point, you’re aiming at a life long career, and are willing to take on that loan as an Adult with informed decision.
– Tipping was a difficult one, it’s an ingrained method, and everyone blames everyone else. Customers blame servers; servers blame employers; employers blame taxes; suppliers; servers and customer demand. It’s a way of life. Unless the practice of tipping is outlawed at a national level, it will never change. Tipping is not encouraged here, but it’s not discouraged either. I occasionally leave a tip, because I think the server who served ME deserves it, not the establishment, or the other servers. Because the server isn’t actively hunting for tips, I can be sure any interaction I had with the server was mostly genuine and not played up for tips.
In the end, if i could offer a single piece of advice to Americans as a people, it would be this:
“Stop talking, and listen. Really listen. Your opinion matters, but it’s not the only one”
PS. Thank you for having a mutually open and respectful discussion. They’re few and far between these days. It’s good to hear from a person who is actively looking to grow and is willing to be challenged. Keep it up buddy 🙂
PPS. I included a picture from years ago that I found funny. Enjoy!