For years, many people in the world have had a great fondness for America. They have admired our culture, our products and our cheerful, fun-loving nature. In recent years, however, there has been a significant shift in those feelings. Research studies show that, for a number of reasons, "favorablility" ratings for America are declining around the world.
While it is true that the rise in negative feelings toward us may result from perceptions more than reality, it is also true that perceptions are powerful opinion makers. You, and the 55-60 million
other Americans who travel abroad each year, have a unique opportunity to change at least some impressions of us from negative to positive. By following the few simple suggestions in this guide, you can have a better travel experience while showing America’s best face to those you visit.
The World Citizens Guide
Some of the advice is pretty straight forward and always appropriate, not only for Americans, like "Smile. Genuinely." or "Think big. Act small. Be humble.", and "Refrain from lecturing." A little bewildering is the advice not to talk about the bible so much - surely there are Americans who are not Christians?
The guide has some amusing factoids about the world's population and all that but I am afraid that in itself, it's a vain effort. I just can't see the average American tourist reading this before he goes off on a 6-day-tour of Europe.
Oh, and then there is the Germany Survival Bible. I can't describe it. You've got to read it for yourself. I was howling. Howling. But it's true, it's all true.