“People were different, not only from Swedes, but from each other.”

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For the Fourth of July. Link here. Key quote:

I’m not sure if I can fully convey the cultural shock of going from Sweden to Dallas in the 1990s, or if it is even wise to try. Because how can I describe what it is to taste your very first doughnut or go to Toys R Us at that age [9 years old] and see row after row of wonderfully girly Barbie dolls? I came from the country of meh to the nation of yeah. And it was nothing short of magnificent.

I was lucky enough to spend my summers there, in the heart of Texas, and with every visit I gained a growing awareness of the differences between your country and mine. America was loud. It was uncomfortable and alive. People were different, not only from Swedes, but from each other. [emphasis in original]



  • Joe

    Exceptional! Great essay from a young person who is exceptionally perceptive to what makes the United States such a great country! Enjoy this holiday everyone, understand that it was brought to us by men and women that have and would sacrifice everything.

  • ken anthony

    Texas is especially loud. I went to the boyscout jamboree in Idaho in 1973. Bob Hope addressed us and at one point started to list the states in attendance at which point the scouts from that state would stand up and cheer. When he got to CA about a quarter of the 70,000 scouts stood up. When he got to TX they were a lot smaller group than CA but about 4 times as loud!

  • Edward

    From the essay: “You are exceptional, and coming to America taught me that I could be exceptional, too. Thank you for that. Thank you.

    It is the freedom to try new things that makes America exceptional. It is not that we are exceptional people, better than everyone else — after all, we come from everywhere else, so we are everyone else. It is not the location, because any country with the same freedoms and liberties can be just as exceptional. Anyone else from anywhere else can come here and take advantage of freedom to be just as exceptional.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuv0K8H8ILM (12 minutes)
    What We Believe, Part 7: American Exceptionalism

  • Chris

    We also have the freedom to fail; and that is maybe the most important freedom we have.

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