The French lifestyle is much more conducive to a leisurely and introspective approach to life. It also encourages neighborhood shopping and more interaction with one’ s neighbors and a more connected way of life. Americans focus on the “ Protestant work ethic” of hard work and sacrifice and have less of a focus on enjoying life on a daily basis. Americans over-value hard work-- the “ working vacation” is not uncommon but even expected in many professions. Fast food, eating on the go, quick meals, drive-thru lunches, coffee to-go, 70 hour work weeks, 2 weeks vacation a year, and shopping at the local cookie-cutter-anonymous mall are standard American lifestyle choices.
In fact, America sees those as a point of pride in her citizens’ lives. Enjoying lifeless and refusing to slow down are typical American badges of honor. What do those French do with their extra time? With more free and leisure time, the French culture naturally has developed a major focus on French achievements and artistic accomplishments while America tends to re-move itself from anything cultural if it interferes with her work-ethic. France takes pride in its centuries of contributions to the arts, humanities, literature, architecture, and music.
This French obsession with culture cannot only be found in many great world-class museums but on the streets and parks of her cities and towns. France shows off her great history and artists with public adornments of art and architecture that is hundreds of years old. France wears her history proudly like a necklace and encourages the preservation and nurture of all things French in music, language, and art. France works to save its classic architectural and artistic heritage and protects old buildings from the wrecking ball.
America, conversely, may have a thriving artistic community and sense of its accomplishments, but she tends to put old works behind her and always strives for the newest, next best thing. She often tears down fabulous old buildings and destroys its his-tory in the name of urban renewal and modernity.
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