Why America Loves Schmoozers

by | March 10, 2009

Ever since the Pilgrims sat down with the American Indians for a feast, America has been a land of schmoozers. Although it is unlikely that John Smith exchanged business cards with Pocahontas, they still made a connection that led to new and exciting opportunities - and even inspired a movie several centuries later. The Pilgrims and American Indians took a chance meeting each other for a meal, but that's the point: you never know what kind of wonderful things will happen unless you get rid of your fears and prejudices, and start connecting.

Taking chances is what America is all about. From Lewis and Clark to Armstrong and Aldrin, Americans have sought to boldly go where no one has gone before. Although schmoozers may not have to climb mountains, cross raging rapids, or risk burning up in the atmosphere, schmoozing captures the pioneering spirit of America too. Through schmoozing, you meet new people who will introduce you to more new people, and so on and so forth. You never know where schmoozing will lead you - but that's the point.

There is something else about schmoozing that America loves: the way schmoozing levels hierarchy. Schmoozing connects the passenger and the driver, the businessman and the busboy, the CEO and the mail clerk. Why is Huckleberry Finn generally considered the Great American Novel? Because it shows how schmoozing can eliminate the artificial barriers of society. At heart, the novel is about the relationship that forms between a boy and a runaway slave, and the adventure that results.

Americans love to level hierarchy. Schmoozing plays into the American belief that this is a land of opportunity where anyone can make it, regardless of meager beginnings or initial lack of connections. America has had a soft spot for the underdog ever since the first shots were fired in Lexington and Concord. Just think of the popularity of Horatio Alger's rags-to-riches stories, the 1980 U.S. Olympic ice hockey team, and The Little Train That Could. America has always pulled for the guy or gal or train that fought the odds.

So next time you're at that cocktail party where you know no one and have an urge to leave, remember: America is rooting for you to stay, to introduce yourself to other guests, to find surprising things in common, to make friends, to find hidden opportunities. America is rooting for you to schmooze.

Filed Under: Job Search


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