I’ll never forget standing in the Metro in Paris and being horribly embarrassed by the college kids who were a few cars down. They could be heard by every passenger as they swore and rough housed with each other. With their college t-shirts, flip-flops, and southern accents, there was no denying they were Americans. It made my friend and I start speaking in Italian just so we wouldn’t be associated with their bad manners. That experience has made me stress to my own students just how important it is to be aware of how we as a culture and people are viewed by others.
I came upon the Listening Project trailer just this week and it was reminiscent of my Metro experience. As I engage in the American Presidential Debate on foreign policy, this film has reminded me that we are not a nation that functions in a bubble, but one who is dependent and depended on by the world.
When I was teaching middle school I used to take the kids on a lot of field trips. I’d always remind them that when we were out in public their behavior determined how people felt about them and our school as a whole. The same thing applies when any of us travel abroad – we are the representatives of our own culture/country and how we behave DOES shape how the world sees us. Great post.
I 100% agree. Thanks, Ashley! I hope your travels are going well!
One can’t hep but think that as the US projects its power abroad (in the form of military, cultural, or other), that it would be a good thing for the rest of us to have a say in the presidency. Unlikely, I guess.
It’s a funny thing though, I always cringe a little, when I hear my Australian compatriots (regardless of their behaviour), but CIA gets excited to hear her fellow Kiwis.
I guess this says a lot about our respective relationships with our countries of birth…