Bisma Zaman, Blog Entry #1

Best, Greatest, Superior- three words that are commonly used to describe America. To me these words connote that something is better than another. In relation to America and other nations it denotes that there is competition against nations to be the “best”. These words confine us in our own paradigm and detach as part of larger world, which can be a dangerous and harmful way to live.

One of the focal points of this video was when Jenny said, “Can you say why America is the greatest country in the world?” Her question, to me, was the served as one of the central problem to ignorance in today’s world. In trying to prove or to validate that America is the “best” country, she isolates and forgets the other accomplishments of other countries. Small statements like these encourage people to see the world through only one perspective. In attempting to find more reasons why America is the “best” country we are more likely to subordinate the accomplishments of other countries and to be fully absorbed in our own nation. The media, icons, and even political leaders have popularized and justified the adoption of ethnocentric perspectives by promoting and exaggerating the concept of superiority between countries.

As human beings it is necessary to view others not by what country they come or cultural groups they belong to but rather as individual all apart of the human race. The only way to start this process of realization and empathy towards other beings is education. Will McAvoy uses education as a tool says, “America is “7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, number 4 in labor force, and number 4 in exports. We lead the world in only 3 categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined. 25 of whom are allies” (The Newsroom-(U.S. TV Series). These statistics though meant to demonstrate that America is not the best country in the world, rather put things into perspective. Education does not mean America is not great, but it fosters more realization that other people and countries exist outside of our paradigm. McAvoy’s comments breaks through the idea of “winning” or being in “competition” between nations, and it opens of a place for us all to get better.


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