Тема: Американские ценности и убеждения
You can easily spot Americans abroad by their toughness. It comes from their sense of individual freedom — their first value and belief. Americans realize, however, that individuals must rely on themselves; otherwise they risk losing their freedom. They must come to both financial and emotional independence from their parents as early as possible, usually by age of 18 or 21. So, self- reliance usually is the second trait and moral value supposed to be obligatory to a true American.
It designates the ability of succeeding on one's own. "Pull yourself up by the bootstraps" is their saying as well as "Life is what you make it" and "Actions speak louder than words".
The third national value accounts for their confident and unaffected manners. It's an old belief that everyone in America has equal opportunity to succeed and equal chance for success. This value was particularly true at the times of settlers' moving west to make a new beginning. The differences in wealth were little at that time, so their fortune depended only on their industry. But if everybody had chance to better his living conditions, then everybody's duty was to try, which led to the overall competition with one another. And up to now people who compete successfully are honored and called "winners". Those who do not like to compete and are failures are dishonored and called "losers".
Here we come to the fourth American value — competition. Sixty per cent of the Americans believe that competition and desire to win is healthy and desirable. So you can hardly see a person wishing to look incapable or "a loser".
The fifth national value is material wealth. Most Americans believe wealth is a reward for hard work and that is possible to have a good standard of living if a person works hard. But gaining wealth goes along with self-improvement of a person. "God helps those who help themselves," says the proverb. As for the American Dream "from rag to riches", it is still alive! And it goes on attracting immigrants from all over the world.
The sense of humor is highly valued in America. Humor is the great reliever of tension, the counterbalance to the dash and roar of our industrialized life with its whirring machines, traffic snarls and frayed tempers. American humor confirms the importance of mating and the family, the high status of women and children, the pace and tension of life.
Americans love children, animals, gadgets, mother, work, excitement, noise, nature, television, shows, comedy, installment buying, fast motion sports, the flag, Christ, jazz, shapely women and muscular men, crowds, beefsteak, coffee, ice cream, do-it- yourself.