USA!

Growing up, I’ve always admired the United States of America. It is a spectacular nation, an embodiment of Liberty, Creativity, Innovation, and etc. A powerful nation which started its history with an honest mistake by a man named Christopher Columbus. Such mistake did not end with the obsession to correct but rendered to an emergence of a “culture” that is so unique and powerful in its own way. Some critics like to ridicule America saying that it’s a nation without culture, that it is just a melting pot constituted by other cultures. Yet they failed to appreciate the fact that that is exactly what makes America so special, accepting a little bit of here and there, creating something out of many. As a future teacher, I have always been advised to take the eclectic approach – combining the strengths of every particular approach and applying it. That, in my humble opinion, is what rendered America to be such a powerful country.

I have not been so interested in politics until recently. Probably because I have reached the age where I can no longer consider politics to be something distant that has nothing to do with my life which in fact, is wrong. Especially this year, I have been particular interested in the presidential election which will take place exactly today. I have watched the debates, read the news and columns written by many prestigious journalists. As I’ve listened to many, I realized that the essential problem with communication is having a limited view. If you were to attempt the question in the picture below, I’m sure you can draw a perfect answer. But despite the fact that most of us can outsmart the egocentrism test, we sometimes choose not to, or more accurately, we forgot to do so.

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I like this saying very much:

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because it uses the word, “maybe.”  I don’t know if you have seen the reality show where the bosses of some great companies, disguised themselves and worked in their own shops, restaurants or factories, and tried to understand what is happening in their business. This attempt benefits many great companies to restore or maintain their outstanding performances. This is great but how many of us have the luxury of time to try to understand what the other person has gone through? Pardon me, I may have digressed. But the point here is that we make decisions based on what we know and what we know is so often very limited. Donald Trump might be accusing Hilary Clinton for a lot of things and vice versa, but what they know about each other might also be the results of having a limited view. Donald Trump has not walked in Hilary Clinton’s shoes obviously and vice versa.

Following the news of this election has taught me so much, but if I’ve only learned one thing, is that we need to continue learning to discern what is right and what is not good for us. I wouldn’t say wrong here because the word wrong is too strong that it diminishes the power of being right in certain contexts, as the saying goes, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. I did get a little discouraged when I first learned the term, “gatekeeping” back in college. I had an epiphany – thinking that everything I’ve seen especially from the media is somehow exploited as a tool to brainwash, to persuade, or to control my understanding towards the world. I’ve grown being skeptical (thinking that I was applying critical thinking) and later become a skeptic of the idea of being skeptical. So finally I’ve decided to just hold on to one principle: Do what’s right at the right moment.

There is truly endlesss to learn in this world. It is not the end for America whether which side triumps. I believe in America. A nation with power and a great attitude which manifests in the endurance of life-long learning, accepting, changing and growing. Democracy or Republican, the American Dream will continue, at least in my heart.

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