Overheard some people (from Finland, I think) this morning talking about Americans. He was explaining that Americans act like they are your friend, but they are never true friends. The example he gave was that his friend was extended an invitation to come stay for a visit with the Americans, but they always made excuses when she tried to take them up on the offer, so she never got to stay with them.
My first reaction was to be a little insulted, and think of all of the exceptions, or excuses for the people he was judging...but why, according this this Finn, is it that Americans seem like your friends? ...They laugh a lot.
I like that. I think it's true, and I think there is a lot of truth to what he was saying. Americans are a bit independent, for better or for worse, and the culture doesn't specifically encourage strong family and friend bonding. It's such a big country and everyone is so spread out, so it's hard to stay close to people.
I'm grateful for insights like this. If something stings to hear it, it's always possible to find some truth behind it. It's like spilling lemon juice onto your hand and finding tiny cuts that you didn't even know were there.