Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Won't Miss #408 - fear of America

I've said before and I'm sure I'll say it again and again; context is everything. I've been in Japan a long time and haven't been home for 20 years. As a result of this, I've started to absorb a lot of the negative, skewed and distorted perspectives about life in America that the Japanese have. They talk incessantly about guns, violence, crime, and safety as if you risk getting mugged on every street corner and every person is packing heat (which is only true in Arizona). Though I never experienced crime when I lived in my tiny rural home or during the year I spent in Silicon Valley, it's hard to keep the collective fears of everyone around me from thinking that going home might not be such a great idea. Frankly, a little bit of what has kept me here so long is concern that my home is as bad as people keep saying it is. I am actually scared of life back home after years of viewing it through Japanese eyes.

I don't like how the fears of people who have limited experience in the United States have colored my view of my home and will not miss being surrounded by the uninformed perceptions of people with limited or no actual experience.