Good observations ..this is a tough subject ! One thing I should clarify ,before somebody else accuses me again of being a racist , although I am of Italian heritage , I am also very much an American and I served in the American forces of this country!
However , I was twenty years old when I came to this country , and my formative years were very much European ! In addition, I travel back to Europe almost once a year ,[ have one trip planned about December this year ], and I spend lots of time with European friends as well as American friends ! Also , as a teenager , I spent considerable time in Argentina with my parents , playing lots of great soccer and riding wild horses in the Pampas !
Because of this I have a somewhat multicultural perspective on life ..more of a global view , if you will , as opposed to some obdurate Americans who refuse even to travel overseas because they think is beneath them ! You really want to bet on this one ? So I feel qualified to take "pot shots" at both the Americans and the Europeans [ SMILE] !
Both Europe and America have lots to offer to our lives and I believe I have the best of both worlds fused into my personality ..that is why , generally, I enjoy my life very much and make it a point to surround myself with emotionally mature and interesting people !
The point here is that unless you expand your awareness of life into a dimension rich in culture and art and beauty and history [ Italy is one good example] your senses will never fully develop to give you an understanding of who you are and how to deal with life and people in general , including the ones you will have to kill someday in self defense !
I know I am losing some of you here , but I expected that , because not very many will grasp the meaning of what I am trying to convey as you are already preoccupied with thoughts of where your next beer is coming from and who can belch the loudest >>> with the exception of people like Lori , for example , who has spent considerable time overseas and is highly attuned to the message here !
On a recent trip to Cleveland , my taxi driver was a young man from Bosnia who kept telling me how much he loved Europe and Italy in particular , and how he was so disappointed with the Americans because of the lack of feelings in daily interaction …he said he felt so lonely even as he met hundreds of people a week !
On another note , In my work I deal with lots of professional women who take lots of trips to Europe and who seem to prefer Italy the most because of the gentle way of life ! More specifically , the ladies become intoxicated by the mannerism of the men who make them feel like complete women even if they are fat ,old and ugly!
So what's this got to do with the subject matter being discussed ? The point is our lives , reduced to basic terms , are governed by emotions and perspectives ! The American problem is that ,but for lack of attuned emotions , perspectives are in constant jumble ! In the 'Gift of fear ' [ bet most of you have not yet spent the twenty bucks to buy it …cuts into your beer allowance] Dr. De Becker makes the point that as you work at experiencing and IMAGINING every human feeling , you will become an expert at predicting what others will do or we should do as a society , to make our lives more worthwhile and livable with style !
If your emotions are stifled or run amuck out of touch with perspective , then you will lead a miserable short life , devoid of fulfillment and sympathetic experience !Think about it ..how many people do you know who fit this description!
Now as to football and soccer games incidents here and abroad ! The violence in soccer , although deplorable ,GENERALLY WITH FEW EXECEPTIONS, is tied to nationalism and the triggering mechanism for it speaks volumes of the pride of the fans , who in their minds , are fighting a foreign force which threatens their territorial soccer standing in the world !
How do you compare this emotional charge with what the parents did to each other in a kid's football game ? The parents knew each other , yet they went at one another and at the referee, like jackasses dispersed by a loud blast , and one very 'smart ' parent tried to run over one of his neighbor 's kids with the front of his car ! Man what a jerk ..I bet he is one of the people that pleads to his friends .. " but I need my beer" !
You see violence in Italy/Europe ..violence is everywhere ..but you will never see this childish display of emotion among neighbors ..because the Italians possess a much more attuned 'emotional intelligence' ..If you don't believe me , spend a few months there ..but be very careful of how you behave ! And you won't smell drunk's vomit at every corner ! And you won't see road rage in spite of some very precise aggressive driving , fast speeds but tolerance and sharing of every available space ! You won't see the ' biker ' subculture with fat slobs on Harleys who think they can ride a bike …the ones who have tried to play the European game on American Bikes on Italian , German , Austrian soil , feel like novices when up against European stylish motorcycles and elegant riders who maneuver on a dime in heavy traffic and move like the wind at warp speed ! this is the difference of STYLE I often talk about !
And this under-developed 'emotional intelligence' in Americans is responsible for what you talk about on this post , i.e., Me first and always ---But if danger lurks ..better you than me ---sue the bastard ---don't get involved-desert the rescuer-give people the finger -cut him off-I have rights you know !-the rescued victim turning on the rescuer -accusing him of excessive force or lack of certain action -the nightmare of being accused to have been the instigator when you were only trying to help -being arrested by the cops who have to sort things out -our heartless judicial system- look at me , I am tough ! etc. !
Look at what we have done to ourselves ..some days when I engage in conversation with some donkey brain who thinks he smart because he bluffed himself through a college education and now he has the right to stand on a bucket of s$#% and pontificate absent any emotional maturity , I feel like splitting his head open with an ax and stuffing his empty skull with empathy for his fellow man ! But not to fret ..go back to your beer and belching , no need for you to get an emotional beating here !