March 28, 2021•308 words
I like meeting Americans who think the US is the greatest country in the world. It's always a fun experience. I like meeting Poles who think Poland is the greatest country in the world. It's always a depressing experience.
In both cases there are interesting correlations between age, political beliefs and the belief that our country is the greatest or not.
Young Americans hardly ever believe that. A lot of them got fucked over by the 2008 crisis, post-9/11-paranoia and all that shit. More and more of them seem to believe America is the worst country, at least in the developed world. They want to escape. So they move to Europe, to Canada, to New Zealand, to Asia.
In Poland, the pattern is quite similar. With different nuances, of course. Here, it's more divided among Church-goers and the rest. People deeply entrenched in religion (a particular, perverted genre of religion) view Poland as a "Catholic stronghold", an island of God among a sea of evil. And for that very reason, they believe that Poland is the greatest country in the world. The rest of the population is either ambivalent or wants to move out.
The more people I meet from around the world, the more I'm starting to understand that there's no "greatest" or "worst" country. One can be happy anywhere, anytime. There are places struggling with war, poverty, disease. And it's certainly much harder to find happiness and relief there. But there's no place with no problems.
Let's take Sweden, for example. People from all around the world view it as an example of a rich, egalitarian, well-coordinated, healthy society. That's not fully true. Anyone who watched The Swedish Theory of Love knows this is not case. I wouldn't want to live in Sweden.
Be content with what you have, but do not stop improving it.