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The Values Americans Live By : 6. SELF-HELP CONTROL


by L. Robert Kohls


In the United States, a person can take credit only for what he or she has accomplished by himself or herself. Americans get no credit whatsoever for having been born into a rich family. (In the United States, that would be considered "an accident of birth.") Americans pride themselves in having been born poor and, through their own sacrifice and hard work, having climbed the difficult ladder of success to whatever level they have achieved—all by themselves. The American social system has, of course, made it possible for Americans to move, relatively easily, up the social ladder.

Take a look in an English-language dictionary at the composite words that have "self" as a prefix. In the average desk dictionary, there will be more than 100 such words, words like self-confidence, self-conscious, self-control, self-criticism, self-deception, self-defeating, self-denial, self-discipline, self-esteem, self-expression, self-importance, self-improvement, self-interest, self-reliance, self-respect, self-restraint, self-sacrifice—the list goes on and on. The equivalent of these words cannot be found in most other languages. The list is perhaps the best indication of how seriously Americans take doing things for one’s self. The "self-made man or women" is still very much the ideal in 20th-century America.

Commentaires

Moha Toto a dit…
And in Tunisia, there are more than 100 sentences or remarks finishing by "Normal" or "Mouch Normal".

That's how the world goes, in one country we START a word by "self" that will give a specific socio-linguistic meaning showing how much their citizen are starter minded and free to create ideas and transform them to initiatives and probably to success. And in another country, we FINISH the sentences by "normal" or "mouch normal". The more dialog spaces exist the less Expression and vocabulary become limited and sometimes ridiculous.
Anonyme a dit…
also selfish, something that really describes most americans. SA

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