That’s the motto in my neck of the woods these days, where Bentley’s and Aston Martin’s run wild, where words like “mate” and “futbol” roam free, and the sunset graces over Buckingham Palace and the world’s most marvelous sites to have ever graced my blue eyes.
I’m talking about the city of London, where I’ll be studying abroad this semester and penning a weekly column about the voyages I embark on and the scholarly knowledge I gain over the next three months.
It’s been just over a week in this city, and I’ve already seen and learned more than I could’ve possibly imagined.
Who knew that Queen Elizabeth has weekends that last from Thursday to Tuesday? (Can I be her driver?)
Who knew Becks could replace and replenish like Bud Light?
Who knew that the bottom three teams in the English Premier League get relegated after each season to the Football League Championship (Wouldn’t this be great if the NFL instituted this rule? So long Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins!).
It’s been only a handful of days in America’s Fatherland, but that hasn’t stopped me from keeping my eyes and ears open as I continue to search for the everlasting truths of humanity and uncover the hidden treasures of our universe.
And in my short time walking down Abbey Road, I think I’ve hit my first crossroad.
So here I digress:
One of our nation’s largest problems (in the relative sense) is our inability to adapt and change.
Everywhere we turn, American society is facing the same issue: “It’s our way or the highway.”
That’s the motto in the world’s biggest superpower.
We don’t believe in compromise. We say we believe in striking a balance that’s fair to all parties, but every time we’re about to sign the dotted line, we turn our head’s and walk away.
The Republican and Democratic Parties have never been more out of touch and deadlocked against each other than they are today.
Bipartisanship is a word that simply doesn’t exist in our vocabulary anymore because no one on either side is willing to sit down, listen to the matters at hand, and come together and adapt.
In return, Congress’ approval rating was 15 percent in 2014.
That doesn’t even include dividing opinions on domestic violence, gun control, race, and every other major issue our country faces.
Pride is America’s greatest strength and greatest weakness, but ultimately it has debilitated our power because we are unable to accept change and face our problems head on.
We talk about getting things done, but we never actually get anything done.
After two years of intense fighting between parties in Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled ObamaCare constitutional in 2012 and created universal healthcare for the first time in American history.
The United Kingdom has had universal healthcare, known as the National Health Service, since 1948.
Does that need anymore explaining?
In 2013, England, Scotland, and Wales officially legalized gay marriage.
During the 2011 Conservative Party Conference, current UK Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a Conservative.”
Can you imagine John Boehner saying that?
Like any country, the United Kingdom is far from perfect, but there is something fundamentally different about these people who call trash “rubbish” and don’t watch 24 hours of ESPN like many of us do (myself included).
They are willing to accept and embrace change.
As I walk through the beautiful streets of London, I feel this new breath of fresh air brushing up against my shoulders and pushing me to do the same.
All your life you’re told to develop morals and values and character and beliefs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change and adapt.
It was Muhammad Ali who once famously said, “The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”
I only have a small amount of time across the pound to explore the world and take in everything it has to offer me.
I don’t know where I’ll go, what I’ll be doing, or what may change about me. But what I do know is that over the next three months I am going to be making a bold statement: this world is better when we’re all willing to adapt and change.
So the next time a friend dares me to do something crazy, like go up and introduce myself to an attractive British woman, go cliff jumping in Wales, or travel to a place that was once far beyond my reaches, you know how I’m going to respond?
Don’t like it. Love it.