Monday, February 21, 2005

BBC - Love Letter to America

Seems Rob Watson, BBC Washington correspondent, slipped one past the The BBC editors.

Ten years on after all, I have travelled much of the country, have got to know its people and I am proud to have a daughter as an American citizen, a rather beautiful one at that.

Boy is he in for a shock when he gets back to BBC HQ.

Though I love the way America looks, its enduring appeal is the way it feels, its people and their attitude to life.

It may all go back to Thomas Jefferson's claim in the Declaration of Independence in 1776 that the pursuit of happiness is among life's unalienable rights.

Whether it is or not, I have no idea, but certainly most of the Americans I know are in hot pursuit of the happiness thing.

And most are pretty successful according to those surveys so beloved by the opinion pollsters, which suggest Americans are among the happiest people on the face of this earth.

As infectious as their happiness is their optimism and "can do" spirit, the sense that there is no problem which does not have a solution. [...]

As a European, what I found most refreshing here was the remarkable lack of envy in American society.

When Americans see someone doing well, they do not grumble about it being all right for some, instead they say, one day that could be me.

And on immigration...

I have marvelled too at the country's ability to absorb so many immigrants, from so many different places, and at the ease with which Americans adapt to change.

Driving it all is the American dream, which still motivates immigrants and those born here alike. A belief that tomorrow is always a better day and that there is nothing you can not do if you really put your mind to it.

There's more and he ends with this.

Until I return, I will not mind telling anyone that the rest of the world has far more to learn from you than it has to fear.

Finally, someone at the BBC understands America and we'll hold you to that promise Mr. Watson.

Thanks for the letter.

Unfortunately, not all BBC reporters understand America. Ed says sack him now. I agree but the BBC won't.

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