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Imagine: You’re walking down the sidewalk or sitting on the bus maybe even on an airplane, who knows… but you are having a wonderful day and just a couple of seconds ago you thought of something you really want to do. Something just got you inspired and you are already up and far away from this planet. With your thoughts among the clouds.
I don’t know how long it will take you to fulfil your dream, maybe you’ll never manage to… but you had the chance to, and that makes the difference.
Now imagine: NEVER getting to dream! That privilege got taken away from you from the first day you started achieving things. It started before you could comprehend what was going on. On the playground your mother proudly tells her friends that you took your first steps yesterday. The other women ‘ohhh’ and ‘ahhhhh’ but their tempers are short and soon they are boasting about their children. Of course this isn’t quite the same as the horrid Tall Poppy Syndrome. But Jante-lagen has imprinted on most people who have lived in Sweden for a longer period of time. The act of listening to somebody else’s achievements and then being genuinely happy is a valued thing, and we are too focused on being jealous to truly appreciate achievements whoever they are made by.
Quite often I meet people who are starving for an ear to listen to their achievements. This I find sad, that people who are such social beings are still starving for attention because we don’t listen to each other.
I personally don’t like Jante lagen because it made it very hard for me to develop a sense of pride in myself. But it isn’t just Sweden that has this problem. After meeting people who come from different countries, I know that The Tall poppy syndrome doesn’t steer their societies! Is Sweden specifically known for its problems with Jante lagen outside of Sweden? How did Sweden turn out this way? Why Sweden?