As soon as I walk into a gym to coach or classroom to give a talk, and begin to speak, the kids always interrupt me and ask, “Are you American?” Obviously my accent gives my nationality away, but once the kids learn that I am American they bombard me with questions about where I grew up and ask me to explain how the US is different than Ireland. I recently spoke to a school where kids where in 5th class, so they were only about 12 or 13, but I was so impressed about how much they knew about the world beyond Ireland, especially the US. The most common questions the I received, however, were about our government system and the various fast food restaurants in America. I was sad to see that these were the two most well known aspects of America to kids in Ireland.
I am proud to be from America, and I am very proud to be from Cleveland, OH, but it is difficult to see the hardships that America has endured recently. I am not proud of the direction that our government is going in, and I am embarrassed to see Donald Trump give inappropriate speeches everyday on TV. I have gained an interesting perspective on how people internationally view America and I am disappointed that the perception of America has become relatively negative. America does have a huge impact on the international community, which is why America has to maintain good relations with other countries that process nuclear weapons and it must maintain a strong economy. I am currently getting my masters in Business, so I have seen the impact that the 2008 stock market crash had on the world and I see how and why the US dollar changes its value almost every day. Also, many countries, specifically Ireland, rely on US multinationals to have a prosperous economy.
America is a beautiful country; however, the US needs to change the direction it is going in. I love to see how kids in Ireland know so much about the US and want to visit all over the US, but I don’t like see kids wonder why a man who disregards minorities and women could be president of such a great country. Some kids ask if America does provide endless opportunities for people, and I believe it does, so that is what I want America to be known for.