O wad some Power the giftie gie usThe above paragraph contains the oft mentioned immortal line that heads this post. It is the last paragraph from a poem by Robert Burns. (Click and drag your mouse over the space to reveal the author, if you have not already guessed.)
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
An' ev'n devotion!
If the language is unfathomable to you then here’s the English translation:
O would some Power the gift to give usTo see ourselves as others see us is a gift we rarely use in our everyday lives and dealings with others. What would we find if we did listen to those outside looking in? Would we agree or argue black was white? In the instance below I was astounded at how authoritarian we are seen by outsiders, let alone a German. The first half is mainly about smoking bans in our two countries but the rest is no less intriguing.
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notion:
What airs in dress and gait would leave us,
And even devotion!
The below recording is from Radio4 and a German newspaper journalist gives the British a lesson in libertarianism.
Click to play
My respect for modern Germany and the German people has risen considerably...as long as they do not beat England in the world cup tomorrow it will continue to rise.