The Beautiful American

For the first 20 years of my life I loved complaining about ugly Americans.  You know what I am talking about:  Arrogant.  Ignorant of the rest of the world.  Loud.  Barely unilingual.  Chasing a purely materialistic version of the American Dream.  The kind that believes that the answer to every diplomatic crisis is a healthy bombing.

Useless Critique

As much as I could list the faults of ugly Americans, I realized after moving to the United States, that as much as these tired talking points about ugly Americans may have been on point, harping on about them was helping nothing.

Qualities of the Beautiful American

So I started thinking about the future of the United States.  What would constitute a “beautiful American?”  Weren’t there already American models of: savvy, global do-gooding?  Could this behavior become sought after as the new American Dream?

I recently re-wrote, the About section (do check it out, it’s WAY more concise) of CultureMutt and I define the blog’s “savvy, global do-gooding” as boiling down to:

“… these three guiding principles:

1) You are happiest when you are helping others.

2) The best kind of adventure is found in international do-gooding.

3) To be of service internationally you have to first understand people and cultures.”

Just as it is true that the ugly American is truly horrendous, the beautiful American, as defined by a willingness to help others through international, culturally-appropriate service, is genuinely impressive and has always been around.

I recently heard a definition of art as being “that which chases away ugliness”.  Let’s dedicate ourselves to chasing away the ugliness in American society.  It’s time to build on what is beautiful.  Let’s welcome in the era of the Beautiful American.

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Bjorn Karlman

7 thoughts on “The Beautiful American”

  1. Great idea! There is nothing I like more than helping other people, especially if it if for someone who can never “pay me back”. I think this is also closely related to “acts of random kindness”. I have had so much fun doing these random acts to unsuspecting people, usually strangers (like paying for the Taco Bell meal for the person in the car behind me in the drive through who, for some unknown reason just flipped me off. The look on their face was priceless when they were informed by the teller that I had paid for their meal. lol! Hopefully it made them think twice and realize that there are some people in this word that want to bring sunshine to their lives.)

    Let’s all go conquere the world with kindess!! :) Love it!

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  3. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is great, let alone the content!. Thanks For Your article about The Beautiful American .

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