If there were a single word that summed up the cultural attitude of the United States, that word would be freedom. In various aspects of life, freedom is the benchmark in which policies, laws, rules, and mandates are graded upon. If a certain rule or policy impedes freedom, it is generally frowned upon while the inverse is typically looked up at. People that impede freedom are generally frowned upon. Although freedom is a good benchmark to use in most instances, I think Americans tend to over-emphasize the importance of freedom and neglect to place importance on communalism. Although personal autonomy is important, it is equally pertinent to think about how the individual impacts the the group or society as a whole. To me, this attitude appears to breed egoism and creeps towards narcissism by making it seem that one’s own happiness is the most important thing, while neglecting the needs of others. Certain groups of people will claim that, unless they am not personally hurting someone, it is unjust to impose restrictions on what the government should be able to do, such as require driver’s licenses in order to operate a motor vehicle, which I think is a pretty absurd claim There also tends to be some hypocrisy within this concept. A women’s right to an abortion comes to mind. In a country that champions freedom, it is difficult to understand why it is so challenging for a woman to exercise the same freedom to choose whether she would like to have a child or not. These contradictions show the hypocrisy embedded in freedom. I think someone from outside the U.S would probably scratch their head at this attitude towards independence. In some cultures from around the world, the communal good is often what is used to generally determine whether something is good or bad I have heard, although have no direct evidence, that some Asian cultures have a communal attitude rather than a individualist one. The example that was given to back this up was that if a child is misbehaving in public, it would be okay to discipline the child even if there were no familial relation towards that child. Contrast this with the U.S where the same behavior would be incredibly hard to believe and frowned upon. Someone else might object however and firmly believe that people deserve no autonomy. It is up to the state or some other authority to decide what is best for individual. I think most would disagree with this attitude and label such a view point tyrannical or authoritarian and I would agree. While I believe cultures that lie on the spectrum of communalism and personal freedom can make no claim to being right or wrong, one that negates freedom entirely is not a healthy culture. This situation, for example, reminds me that I may see or experience things that might be hard to believe for an American but perfectly normal for the English. And rather than responding with disgust, annoyance, or disapproval, I will instead remind myself that cultures vary but none are “better” than others.