I sometimes like to watch late night shows like Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Connan on YouTube. a couple of days ago, I watched this video, above, for an actor that I don’t think I have watched any of his movies. His interview was interesting to me. It showed a characteristic I only found among American celebrities, not Arabs.
In the video, the actor talks about a time he used to steal silverware from his hotel room when he was poor, at the start of his career as an actor. The characteristic I am talking about is how many American celebrities don’t feel ashamed talking about their life before they were rich. I have watched many celebrities say they were raised in a trailer, they were poor, etc.
On the other hand, I never heard an Arab actor talks about their impoverished past. You will never see an Arab actor talks about a similar story like the one in this video. I don’t mean confessing to stealing, but saying they were poor and they had to do this and that.
Now, you may ask, Why Americans (or Arabs, depending on your background) do that?
I think Americans do it because they are overconfident. According to Stephen Fry Americans are taught since childhood they can be whatever they want, even the president of their country. That is why Americans are known to be more optimistic and more confident than other cultures. On the other hand, Arabs do it because they always have a sense of pride no matter when and where. An Arab should never at any circumstances looks in need. That is why no respected Arab says yes to a dinner invitation from the first time. The host has to insist couple of times.
Most, if not all, cultures don’t treat, or look at, the poor and the rich the same way. Unfortunately, some cultures do it worse than others. In the USA for example, the son or daughter of a poor parents may succeed to become something big. This is hardly the case in the Arab world. There is no way the son or daughter of a sanitation worker to become a professor, a politician, a lawyer, or an actor.
There is what I call an unspoken economic caste in the Arab world. This subject needs a different post.
I learned a word in America for people who looks overconfident in a weird way. They call them ‘cocky’ and I think such behavior skews toward a negative characteristic. When we say someone is overconfident we are complimenting him, but when we say he is cocky it is not a compliment. So, do you think the actor in the video is overconfident or cocky?