During my crammed summer in Berkeley, I guess I did learn a thing or two. For one, I learned that the fucking weather never really changes even in the summertime. Also, where this post will eventually lead, is that the way most Americans approach close relationships is almost a sure fire way to break them.
When compared to the French, Americans are more concerned with personal space, too considerate of others’ emotions, and cautious in all aspects. We like to think of ourselves as individualistic–that each and every one of us is autonomous. We know all the right answers to our problems. Is this a generalization? Yes. But applicable? Hell yeah. Whenever I ask someone for a second opinion, I find myself scrutinizing that it if it conflicts with my own. Then I think to myself, ‘Why did I ask that in the first place? I knew my choice was the one I wanted all along…”
Now to cure this bad American habit of ours, sadly, there’s nothing we can do (instantly). No prescription drug can make a neighbor more attentive. The fact of the matter is that we have to start with ourselves. As with all actions, it’s definitely easier said than done. We have to graciously start letting people ease into our comfort zones. Today, I gave a close friend a key to my apartment and welcomed him whenever he needed. I’m clearly aware that he can A) find my embarrassing stuff, B) make copies of the keys, and/or C) abuse my invitation. But trusting a friend and yourself (to know that you’re making the right decision) slowly breaks away at the “Look at me, me, me!” mentality Americans have internalized. At least mentally, I want to have mutually beneficial relationships. My only hope is that the generosity and openness catches on like bacteria…. er like the good kind that’s in yogurt and stuff.
Hey a guy can dream, can’t he?