I write articles about this subject from time to time. We Americans are often lumped as one from time to time. Whether foreign populations consider Americans to be fat, lazy, stupid, etc, it doesn't matter. We hear about it, and more often than not fail to change.
Before I get into the main part of the article I'll give an example of American's doing what America does best sometimes. My friend, who is on exchange in Lima, Peru for six weeks, began her stay by going to Pirates of the Caribbean, which was dubbed in Spanish and subtitled in english. According to her, the language setup shocked most of the people there (and her host family as well) because most movies are dubbed in English and subtitled in Spanish, even though the local population (in case you were wondering) speaks Spanish. She wrote to me very angry and saying that we Americans can't go around pretending that everyone else speaks English because we speak English.
On to my main point. The three articles that I linked in the first line of the paragraph all circle back to one main issue that appears in the news day in and day out. All of these I got from MSN.com at the same time, actually I got them when I went looking for some articles to throw up here. We Americans seem to be lacking respect. A lot of it. I'm not wasting my time by clipping the thousands of articles that I have seen and talking about each one. Everyone knows.
Take the one about the bus driver: what kind of insanity does someone need to possess to commit an act as, well, bad as that? Or how about the virgin flight? I have been taught and can recite basic airline/airplane safety without looking at a manual. For starters, they seemed to forget about all of that, mainly the fasten your seat belt sign. And the LITTLE acts that set off a thirty minute fight seem so pathetic that the people who were involved should be ashamed of themselves. I can't get into a fight for 30 minutes if I tried, and that is on the ground!
As for the third clipping, well, Washington seems to have an issue with keeping their pants on. I hear belts have been banned since Clinton was in office.
I think we all should go back to kindergarten and take the course on respect again. We have lost our way, we Americans seem to be unable to consider one another's feelings as a human being through our day to day lives. Those movies that have the lines; "Oh, look at all the little village people!" strike the chord perfectly. We are so centered around ourselves that we fail to recognize each other's value. I think that we all should get off our high horses for a few days, even just to try something new, and when we do, the world will be a much better place to live in.
Americans need to stop thinking that we own the world. While it may be true in one sense or another somewhere along the line, as people we are just like everyone else. Even though your mom told you that you were special... she was lying to you.