Seeing how other people live is one thing. But witnessing how an entire country lives differently is something out of the ordinary for many people in the world. Whether you live a simple life with a small garden in your back yard, or live extravagantly in your beach house in the Hamptons; you can never truly appreciate what you have until you have witnessed what other cultures have. While there are many differences between the German and American lifestyles, what really matters here is the happiness that each culture brings.
Experiencing Germany for the third time makes me not only incredibly grateful, but also showed me those delicate pieces of the culture that I didn't recognize or realize existed the last time I was here. For example, punctuality. Per my lifestyle, I have a tendency to be late for most things in my life. Deadlines have generally never been forced, and the term "fashionably late" was thrown around during childhood years, so punctuality has never lied in my values. For the German Culture, this is definitely not the case. They swear by time, they live by their clocks and show esteem for those who follow this standard.
With this, the self-improving guru inside of me found that it may be time to show a little more respect for those I make plans with. Even when the person I'm making plans with is myself, specifically because I don't "show up" for myself sometimes. Based on the German Culture, it seems that they are consistent and mindful of their self-care, relationships, and habits simply based on the fact that they care so much about punctuality. This brings them immense happiness and I don't know about you, but I want to be more of that in my life.
Punctuality isn't the only thing that brings the Germans happiness. Although they are drinking less beer than they did in the 80's, they are still at 101.2 liters per capita per year; and are sitting in the ranking at the fourth country that consumes the most beer per year. That's a lot of happiness from hefeweizen if you ask me. To be determined on if I can drink that much beer in one year, I'll keep you posted. Overall, perspective changed and all hail to the Germans for always showing up on time to drink large consumptions of beer with their friends.