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#KAG One Day At A Time

August 3, 2018

The American spirit is alive and well. Unlike what is reported in the mainstream media and the shallows thereof, Americans are the most generous, giving and helpful people on this earth. That includes most all of us: Conservatives, liberals and in-betweeners.

I remember well a morning in Manhattan, New York in 1971. I was a newly arrived budding playwright from the West Coast who didn’t know squat about New York City. The city seemed too enormous. I was a bit lost, so I stopped a local resident and asked him for directions to Jack Dempsey’s, where I had to be for a meeting. I expected what I’d been taught by the media; a cold shoulder and maybe even total rudeness. Wow was I surprised.  He not only told me how to get there but took me by the hand and delivered me to their door. This was a complete stranger who felt it was important enough to give me a hand.

Decades later I was living in Northern Italy. After exiting from an underground garage, I noticed that one of my headlights had burnt out. I’m fussy about lights, brakes and tires so I immediately attempted to change the bulb as I always carry spares. I was on a busy street with my hood open, struggling to change the bulb. It took me over an hour because of the tight quarters I was dealing with. During that time no fewer than 50 cars went by with not one offer of help. In fact, several young fellows drove out of a car dealership across the street from where I was parked. With a smirk on their faces, they seemed to say, “Better you than me buddy!” I thought my white hair had earned me some slack. Not in Italy!

That in a nutshell is the difference between the United States and the rest of the world. I have seen like situations played out over and over on several continents; the result is always the same. Americans are simply more caring, more open and more helpful than anyone on the planet. It has nothing to do with race, ethnicity, age or anything other than a national mentality. People in America just tend to pitch in when help is needed. It is the one uniquely solid trait of Americans that is always overlooked by the media.

Three years ago near my new home in Western North Carolina, I spotted an elderly man ahead of me who had run the right wheel of his car into a huge pothole while driving in a pouring rain. The tire blew out. Although I had to be somewhere urgently, I stopped to change his tire for him. The rain had picked up and soon I was changing the tire in the pot hole with a foot of water. Two other cars stopped and together we got the man back on the road safely and headed to a gas station. Six other cars and trucks slowed as they went by and asked all of us if we needed additional assistance. That’s #KAG one day at a time! You just don’t find this kind of behavior anywhere else.

If you have had similar experiences, please let me know here on this forum. #MAGA #KAG

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  1. I like hearing stories about the kindness of strangers. I did a post on my blog on that and there are entire blogs dedicated to those kinds of stories ( not all in the U.S.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Right you are Allen …. about Americans being particularly ready to lend a helping hand whenever needed or requested. I call it the “neighbor” culture, a dying characteristic that once existed in Italy’s agrarian society. I got to see bits and pieces of this near vanished trait as a young man globetrotting between Italy and the USA or touring Italy with Mom and Dad. You can still catch a glimpse of it in the Trentino and South Tyrol or in the Italian Apennines or farm country of the Valpadana (which does not exist except as a geographical express).

    Farmers and Mountain folk will still be there for you if and when you need them. Living in rural areas in an independent home with neighbors not running up and down condo stairways but maybe living a hundred or even more yards away seem to be more relaxed even in Italy and it is there that the neighbor “culture” is more apt to rear its welcome head!

    Still you are right about Italians rarely going out of their way to help one another, let alone foreigners. But you can never generalize. The Milanese are ike New Yorkers not particularly outgoing. They will often seem cold and aloof. Busy as they are running around in Italy’s only truly cosmopolitan and bustling of Cities. But ask someone directions and you will be surprised at how quick they will stop to help, sometimes even taking you by hand (if they’re going in the same general direction) like the guy in New York that took you to Jack Dempsey’s.

    Take driving as an example. You can tell a lot about people by the way they drive. There is no courtesy of the road in Italy. It is as alien to the culture as is the Law of Privacy or the legal concept of Conflict of Interest.

    After all of the years we’ve been together, my wife still gives me hell for yielding the right of way in common courtesy situations: Why do you do it Paul, it’s in not expected over here. All you do is confuse the other driver(s) and increase the chances of an accident. Despite all of the years I have been over here I still yield the right of way when common sense tells me I should. I don’t think I do it on purpose. At least I am not aware of it. I just do it instinctively because that is the way I was taught to drive

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  3. I lived in the USA for 25 years and I relate to your story, and you don’t know how much I miss the Stares because of that.
    Sometimes I tried to tell that to my fellow Italians, but they say “no, ma dai.., anche qui in Italia….”

    But it is not true at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tre anni fa ho tenuto aperta la porta del supermercato per una vecchia signora. Mi ha accusato di volere soldi! Un mondo davvero diverso..

      Liked by 1 person

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