In a country as culturally and ethnically diverse as the United States of America it may be difficult to believe so many people from so many different backgrounds could share the same basic set of values. Even if one were to ask any number of random Americans, they would receive varying responses on what their values are. Some may not be able to give a definitive answer. Others could continuously list values without stopping. Although it may appear that there is a broad range of values, taking a closer look one will find that these ideas can be condensed into four major categories. These highly important American values are individualism, equality, competition, and advancement.
By far the most important ideal Americans possess is their idea of individualism. The belief that each person is unique and responsible for their own life is instilled in every person beginning from childhood. Rather than seeing themselves as a member of a group, Americans believe everyone is different; therefore, this causes them to believe that society has no influence over the values they themselves hold. This is one reason it is difficult to ask an American what America’s values are. Along with the concept that each individual is in control of their own being, instead of viewing the wealthy as lucky and the poor as unlucky, they are regarded as the hard working and the lazy. Since each individual is responsible for their own life, where they finish by the end of it is up to them. Lastly, with individuality comes value placed on privacy. Americans expect that everyone needs time alone in their daily lives to restore their energy. If one says they need time alone, the feeling is understood, and respected.
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...future. With their hard working attitude, positive future outlook, and view of change, America has become a home to advancement. This value has led America to achievements, like the moon landing, that others thought were impossible.
While America is richly diverse, their own culture has been established around the values of individualism, equality, competition, and advancement. Each of these values closely relate to one another, while encompassing many smaller ideals within. Although Americans believe each individual is a unique person, one cannot deny that these values have been heavily entrenched in America’s society. Throughout its history a multitude of America’s actions have been to protect these values whether they realized it or not. If one looks carefully, it is obvious that these four values have truly become an intangible centerpiece in American society.
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