I'm going to speak on behalf of only Americans because I'm an American. To help strengthen my perspective, I'm going to write what inspired me in my life to come to the present state of mind I have today. I grew up singing the national anthem, even in choir, placed my right hand over my heart to pledge my allegiance to the American flag once every day for 5 days a week, spoke and knew only English for most of my childhood, and knew absolutely nothing about what existed outside our borders. When 9/11 happened, I could see the smoke from the WTC from my high school during a pep rally. I was so enraged I almost joined the military just to go fight overseas. I bought into every media broadcast about how there are people in the world jealous of our freedom, my own people, and hated them for it. I grew up a patriot, a successful byproduct of American education and childhood development. I grew up thinking I was superior to the rest of the world. When I was just a child, I visited Pakistan a few times. I remember feeling better, faster, stronger, smarter, and just a hell of a lot cooler than them all. It didn't help that at that time, Pakistanis actually thought Americans were cool back then, so my ego was fed even more. I would question why people would want to live anywhere in the world except in the U.S., it just didn't make sense to me. That was the mentality I had growing up even though I was a great kid. I never questioned my government and the media was a great source of information. A couple years ago, my life appeared to come crashing down. I got locked up 3 times in a single summer, lost my job, my apartment, my car, my phone, was negative financially, couldn't ride public transportation since there was none remotely within walking distance, all my friends lived far away, so my parents took me in and I just lived my life in solitude over the course of the next 10 months. After falling into depression and losing every ounce of motivation to push further, I began to question life. I lived in that state of mind for a while and began to analyze myself, the world around me, and focused more on what I didn't know. I decided to take a different perspective of things and eventually came around to questioning myself as an American. It was around that time that things began to finally go uphill, albeit slowly. What if the rest of the world is actually happy where they are? What if they don't need superior technology to have fun? What if they don't need anorexic models on a catwalk to tell them what they should and shouldn't wear? What if they enjoy not being corporate slaves? After asking myself these questions, and many more, I began to realize that phrases like "first world" and "third world" are actually byproducts of an egotistical Western mentality. What makes a country great? Is it how many nukes they have and how much they invest in technology? What about happiness? I've seen people across the world living with nothing, people who are considered homeless in the West, yet there are those in the same situation on the other side of the planet who still enjoy life. Maybe it's freedom you're thinking? That our freedom in the West is superior to the rest of the world? Then I ask, what's "freedom"? I've found that freedom here in the U.S. goes hand-in-hand with being a financial slave. You spend potentially 1/3-1/4 of your life in school, building up debt that can potentially take the rest of your life to pay back, and you live off non-tangible money which incurs interest, and if you choose to live off just paper money and ignore loans, then you're denied the the true American luxuries until you submit yourself to financial slavery. I don't call that freedom, I call it slavery. But from a young age, we're all wired to believe that everything we do in the U.S., ranging from our freedom to foreign policies to education to healthcare (etc), is superior to the rest of the world. We have some of the brightest minds in the world here in the U.S. yet so many of us fail to actually use our brains and think outside of what we were raised to believe. Just what is it about us that causes us to harbor the mentality that we're superior to the rest of the world?