Happy New Year!
31 December 2008 | Brisbane, Australia
Random topics to start the new year:
Biomimicry in architecture; look up the CH2 building in Melbourne and the Eastgate Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The Biomimicry Institute in Montana
Manners: an article to start the new year:
The author Alexander McCall Smith, who, in my opinion, understands good manners.
A question to be explored:
that of whether or not it is good manners to treat an American travelling abroad as guilty until proven innocent. In this case, an American cruiser who has opinions on American politics and culture, of course, but does not appreciate constant negative opinions about the United States from foreigners who, as it often happens, have not even been to the United States.
The phrase 'stereo-typical American'. How insulting is that phrase for it is spoken with a negative connotation. I would counter, of course, that if there exists a 'typical' American, they are likely to be generous, kind, hard-working, honest, and polite. And let's not forget intelligent and hospitable.
I love the United States and I can't wait to return there for some good old-fashioned politeness and manners and home-cooking, and outdoor fun, and intelligent conversation with friends and family from all kinds of professions and interests and hobbies.
There are many reasons why I hope to have a good 2009.
Many of them are tied to the things I love about the United States.
The people are amazing for one. Most people around the world have a similar level of integrity, I think. But, not all peoples of the world share the same definition of manners. Most people of the world will probably help you if you are in need; but not all, in my opinion, are as accepting and welcoming as "the typical American".
I look forward to meeting people from different parts of the world, and welcoming them to my homeland, on my own turf, into my home.
I will not be asking them to explain their country's political actions or foreign policy. I will not be expecting them to account for the actions of their government. I will not be assuming they are uneducated and wasteful, or ignorant of their country's position in the world.
No, I will ask them what their interests are, how do they take their coffee, would they like to take a walk or a drive and see some of the beautiful scenery, or maybe would they just like to chat and get to know each other. If I want to know about their country, then I think a good place to start is to get to know THEM.
That's what's on my mind this New Year's Day.