To be an American means to be independent, hard working, and created equal. According to the Declaration of Independence, “all men are created equal” (sec.2 US 1776). Although people in the United States do not always treat all each other equally, many Americans feel strongly about the idea of equality. When it comes to acknowledging status differences among other people – tone of voice, seating arrangements, and order of speaking are looked at. Americans also believe the idea of all people having equal opportunities, which is true to an extent.
Americans value being self reliant throughout life. They believe everyone is responsible for their future and desires.“Traditionally, this has meant achieving both financial and emotional independence from their parents as early as possible, usually by age eighteen or twenty-one. Self-reliance means that Americans believe they should take care of themselves, solve their own problems, and “stand on their own two feet” (Jason Hobbes). People who are more independent in life have an easier time in life, unlike others who may have a harder time.
Being direct and assertive is an essential belief that Americans share. According to the Director of the International Scholar office at UNC Charlotte, Marian Beane, says, “U.S. Americans try to work out their differences face-to-face and without a mediator. They are encouraged to speak up and give their opinions.” This is why we have debate clubs, and we are encouraged to ask questions or disagree with a teacher about a concept. Politicians have to talk about their beliefs to the people, and disagree with their competitor about an issue. Americans speaking on subjects they do not believe are mostly likely addressed in a constructive and non-rude way.
There are many more American beliefs and values. Some can have positive and negative aspects. Americans experience these values almost everyday, and some may be misused throughout our society. As times change there may be new American values, but the values now are what truly shapes an American citizen.
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Beane, Marian. “An Adventure in American Culture & Values.” Study in US, www.internationalstudentguidetotheusa.com/articles/culture.htm.
Hobbs, Jason. “Six Basic American Cultural Values.” Vintage American Ways, 2018,
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A True American by Jason is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.