The differences between Germans and Americans 

The differences between Germans and Americans 

They are miles apart. The Atlantic Ocean is right between them. However, how much different are Germans and Americans actually? I do not want to focus much on politics or economics, but about the people. I was born and raised in Germany. I have relatives and friends in both countries. I love American TV shows and holidays, I am interested in the political situation in both countries, and I think Germans and Americans are more alike than it might appears. 
(I want to point out, that this is just my opinion, based on the experiences I made. It can vary to your own.)


The beauty of globalization!?

Many people still dream of one united world, while many world leaders want to turn their nation into the only one triumphing. We all live on one single planet, but there is not one mindset, that is entirely right. Every person is unique. I mean, underneath the skin, we are alike. There is no difference between the X-ray of a black and a white man, a Christian and a Moslem. It is solely the feelings, and beliefs, which vary. What makes us so unique is not the skin color, but the emotions attached to it. Back in Stone Age, people were looking for those, who appeared similar to them. They were suspicious about aliens. They wanted to protect themselves. Still these days we are more likely to find friends and a partner who is like a beloved person. The chances that this relationship will last long, is by far higher than to someone who is quite the opposite.

That is the reason “the others” are often considered as the bad people. They can be the black ones, refugees, or belong to any other minority. Both countries fear losing their home to the minorities. Parties like the AFD, that is far right in Germany, arise unreasonable fear by ignoring the facts and creating vicious emotions. There are only two percent of refugees compared to the amount of Germans living in Germany. Therefore, it is unreasonable that the refugees will soon take over. The reaction to such, by statistics proven, facts is in both countries the same, when it does not fit to specific politicians’ opinions: in Germany, it is called “Luegenpresse” (lying press) and in the US, it is “fake news”. 

However, what is a “real” German or American? The AFD considers everyone not German who does not look like one – to them. How is a typical German supposed to look like? That is a big issue, also in the US. Some people might have grandparents from different countries, but cannot relate much to it, because they were not born and raised there. I have a friend who is half Moroccan, but she has never been to that country. Her Mom lives in Germany, my friend was born and raised here. Germany is her home country. She is German. Unfortunately, many people tell her she is lying when she talks about her nationality. 

Putting stereotypes into boxes

Facts are one thing, but they are meaningless when they do not appeal to the emotions, which can lead to illogical decisions. Why seeking for a potential enemy even in the own country? Why do we want to tear others down, instead of accepting a challenge and become better? When I was a college student, I had to do an interview with a former doctor who is nowadays doing comedy in Germany. His secretary refused using the words “he is a TV star now, he cannot do interviews with students.” He was just one of many people I figured out who think they are better than “freaking, stupid students”. In the US, it is different. I feel more support. Politicians and entrepreneurs are pleased giving interviews to students for infamous podcasts, magazines or blogs – not all of them, but there is a higher chance they answer questions than Germans. These people maybe remember how they once started, and are not thinking, “Now I am the famous guy and you better beg or pay lots of money to afford me.” I think the more money is on the table, the less happy people are for others. At least that is what I experienced in Germany. These rich people become some sort of a Montgomery Burns on The Simpsons. They think they cannot fail, nothing they do is questionable and who ever dares to, has to be the declared enemy.

When I was younger, I felt I was the only person with issues. Life seemed so easy for other people. They were smart and beautiful, and I was simply too stupid for it all. Now I have realized that many successful women, like actresses Melissa Benoist and Emma Stone, were dealing with anxieties and insecurities. It feels good to read about that, and to notice I am not the only one. It has always been hard for me to express feelings. As a teenager, I tried my best to refuse them. Emotions made me feel even more vulnerable. I did not want to give the other kids another thing to laugh at me, or talk behind my back, which I constantly felt they were doing. Listening to my friends and helping them is something I like, but I always feel like I cannot bother them with my crap, because they have enough to deal with. Even when they tell me, they are interested; I feel it hard to accept. I know they have problems, too, but I feel to be just excessively different and they would not understand, maybe even consider me crazy. Who am I to complain anyway? There are “real” problems out there, than me feeling like an alien.


The same in different ways

Have you ever felt differently? Have you ever felt unaccepted for who you are? This could be because of your nationality, religion, ethnicity, or maybe your emotions. We all have them. They make us human. They make us the same, but also separate us. They make us vulnerable, but they also empower us. I think when everyone shares, instead of hiding or even refusing having feelings, insecurities and anxieties would not be such a big deal. Everyone has them. It is good to admit being imperfect, instead of laughing at others and pretending or not showing any issues. The minority is the majority. Instead of pointing fingers and catastrophizing, I wish for people to be more open about themselves, and about other people. Accepting others and focusing on the good, that is still in the majority and it is on us to keep it that way; that is the actual beauty of globalization. 

Do not fear or hate those who are like you. Forget the box thinking, and allow everyone the freedom to embrace herself entirely. Put the obstacles from your thoughts aside, the differences that humankind created like nationality, religion, and ethnicity. Only then, we can maybe become what we already are: equally human beings.

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When I was gone

When I was gone

As a kid I was free, unknowing of what lies ahead, and unaware of all the possible consequences. As a kid my mind was free. I just did what I wanted to do. But things changed as I grew up. I learned to listen to others, to think carefully which words to use and only to speak when I was asked. I knew that it wasn’t only about me all the time. So I started to please everyone by listening to them and only contributing to a discussion when no one else was talking and it felt okay to me that maybe the others in the group would be interested in hearing my thoughts.

Often enough it was quite hard being completely sure whether someone wanted to know more about me or if she was just acting politely. I knew other kids were told the same: be nice to everyone, don’t say anything they might get wrong. Of course kids simply tell their opinions, no matter what. Kids are honest. Adults are not.

Sometimes the feel ashamed for not knowing something
Lying is a bad thing

My parents told me truth is important. But the older I got, the more I learned that it is okay to lie now and then. It is even necessary when the truth would hurt the other person. But if I get a gift which I don’t like, will I be supposed to tell that I like it? Wouldn’t that lead me to get more such kind of presents because the gift giver wants to make me happy and thinks I like it? I don’t get that. It’s not logical to me. And logic has always been my most honest friend I could rely on.

I am way more comfortable when it comes to facts, rational things simply make sense. Emotions often confuse me. They don’t follow any logic scheme. The same situation with different people leads to totally contradictory directions. When a train leaves the same station, it goes steadily to the next. It is always the same. But with people it’s the opposite. A simple smile can have so many meanings depending on the person’s mood and the situation. Is she smiling because I make her laugh, because she spends time with me, or just because she wants to be nice?

Emotions puzzle me

Every person has feelings, but everything I don’t fully understand frightens me in some way. I am curious; I love to learn about physics, chemistry, medicine, all the planets, etc. I’m maybe unable to keep all information straightly in my head, but I am fascinated about figuring out why I have the ability to walk, or how gravity works on me. I really don’t care about who’s dating who, or who moved in next door. I actually feel weak when I have to cry, and even more when it doesn’t make sense to me like when I’m watching a movie, or when I feel the world is crashing all over me.

Other people seem to have no issues, not with life, not with taking decisions or dealing with emotions. But I do. After just turning 29 and being in my last year of my twenties that is often referred to as the ‘best decade’ I focus even more on my inner child. I want to be honest. I do think of others and don’t want to hurt them, but now I think I matter too. And so does my opinion. I don’t want to hear what others think only to be able to join their opinion instead of hurting anyone in case of disagreement. I don’t want to justify my thoughts, my love, and my life. I think it’s positive that we are all so different, but only when these variations are allowed to evolve.

Seeking acceptance

I want to live fully and enjoy being meI spent most of my twenties being insecure. Back when I had my first job, I felt I had no idea of what I was doing. After school it felt like a whole new world started; taxes, bills, various forms and applications kind of stressed me out. Life was less complicated as a kid, and I didn’t feel ready for this new chapter. Why do I have to grow up? As a kid even the age of 15 felt super old and I was sure I won’t ever get there. And here I am, almost doubled that amount of years. Days, weeks, years passed by so quickly when time as a kid felt like infinity. 

I’m still young and I don’t want to waste much more time on being insecure. I want to free my mind, think less about time, focus more on the good things, and believe in open-minded and honest people. I want to inhale every moment, do what I want to do when I want to do it and be simply me. All the time I was seeking acceptance by others, because I felt so different, because I thought only I had issues and struggled with everything. I was able to see only the bad sides of me, I thought no one would actually care about me, that they’re all fooling and hurting and leaving me sooner or later anyway.

I love to spend time with my friends but it’s hard for me to open up. Like I mentioned, feelings puzzle me. Talking about this doesn’t make sense to me, but it feels good. There might be no one to read this, but writing helps me sorting my mind and don’t feel to bother anyone by forcing her to listen to me only because she was taught to be nice. I am now accepting who I am. I like what I like and I say that, and I am honest when I don’t like it without being impolite, I respect others but want to be respected by them too. Life isn’t only the icing of the cupcake, but it’s beautiful, precious and unique as long as I allow myself to live freely me.

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures

They were there, all the time, but most people weren’t aware of them. And those who were able to see them, didn’t actually see them. They seemed like aliens to them, a different kind, one that is maybe even less worth. They looked differently somehow, so they assumed that these “other” people had to be different, that maybe they even want to take their jobs, ruin their lives. But now, there is this movie. Lots of things have changed since back then, but have they really? Continue reading “Hidden Figures”

Hope for unity

Hope for unity

Imagine you get the chance to time travel, would you love to go back in history or prefer to have a look at the future? The good thing about history is that you clearly know what to expect. The future will surprise you, it’s just not so certain in which way. You will maybe find out if you have improved your life or if your country have made any positive progress or turned into a complete mess. Continue reading “Hope for unity”