Reading 4U: Try It - You'll Like It

The great American novelist and humorist Mark Twain pointed out the difference between the more conservative European and the more experimental American temperament. He described the Englishman as "a person who does things because they have been done before" and the American as "a person who does things because they haven't been done before" Americans love to try something new mostly because of a belief that newer may he better.

  As a nation of immigrants the United States has had a continual influx of people with a pioneering spirit with the courage to make major changes. In the mid 19th century, this sprit led American settlers to make the long, difficult, and dangerous journey westward in search of god or free land. The desire to start new life in a new place is still noticeable throughout the nation. About 40 million Americans change residences every year. The average American moves about 14 times in his or her lifetime. Most of these moves are local ones, occuring when families get bigger or smaller, richer or poorer. Some moves are due to job changes. Others are the results of a spirit of adventure or the desire for a change of climate. Moving away is less lonely today because it's so easy to travel or phone a few thousand miles to keep in touch with relatives and old friends. Out of sight is no longer out of mind.
  The pioneering spirit of Americans is evident in many other aspects of their lives. Mid-life career changes are quite common and reflect American adaptability as job opportunities change. Americans of all ages are quite willing to return to school to learn something new if that will lead to a better job. Americans also change marriage partners more often than most other people in the world.
  Americans love science and technology because these fields of study bring the excitement of new discoveries. The United States has embraced the new age of communication with great enthusiasm. From preschoolers to senior citizens, Americans are learning to use computers-at school, at work, and at home. Robots, lasers, and other creations of modern technology fascinate them. Americans subsidize all kinds of space exploration, ranging from outside the earth to inside the atom, in forward with great excitement to the beginning of a new century and the scientific wonders it will bring.
  This love of change is closely tied to faith in improvement. Americans have always been optimistic people, believing in the perfectibility of people, the basic goodness of their country, and the ability of American ingenuity to improve the quality of human life. But in the past 30 years, people have come to realize that if life can become better, it can also become worse. The dangers of air and water pollution, nuclear power, and overpopulation have become clear. Americans now realize that it is not only possible for living conditions to deteriorate: it is even possible for the inventions of modern science and industry to destroy life on earth totally.