Sorry for the late post this week, but I am currently on the way back from our class study tour to Berlin! We spent Saturday-Wednesday in Germany, visiting many organizations and attending many events related to class. Overall, the trip was wonderful and was a great change in scenery and environment from the city of Stockholm, although I am very happy to be heading back for my last two weeks.
One reason for my longing to return to Stockholm is A/C, quite frankly. Although our apartments do not have air conditioning, a large number of stores have air conditioning in comparison to Berlin. Before travelling to Europe, I simply assumed that A/C was a commonality in most cities.
This trip has brought me to the realization that we are more than spoiled in the United States. I am most certainly not attaching a negative connotation to the word spoiled, but growing up in the US, I did not realize that OUR commonalities are often OTHER’S luxuries. From A/C, to cereal variety, even to drinkable tap water…in the US, we really do have all that we need. This led me to question, though, “How much is too much?” Is A/C in almost every building too much? Or 25 brands of cereal to choose from? Or the ability to always rely on clean tap water?
I feel that the portrayal of these things can possibly lead one to think that this is “too much” and we need to scale back, but in my case, I have come to gain an appreciation for the options and variability we are able to enjoy. I believe that these things we enjoy are an example of capitalism at its finest, and although most today will call this a “bad” thing, I believe that an appreciative people can truly enjoy what they have worked for (although the American people in general can be argued to not embody this appreciation at all).
All of this discussion is simply me putting my mind to paper…is all that we have “too much” for America as a whole?? I don’t know…I don’t think anyone can answer that question. I can only speak for myself and relay my recognition and appreciation for our blessings/luxuries that I once thought were universal commonalities.