nordic theory

The Nordic Theory of Everything by Anu Partanen

The full title of this book is The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life. I’ve heard lots about the Nordic countries and how much better the quality of life is but this book really delved into why that is so. Upon finishing it, I feel educated, inspired, and thoughtful. I’ve begun to think more critically about certain American values: why we worship work, why we are obsessed with money, why being extraordinarily high-ranked and extroverted is seen as the only true success, why people fail to acknowledge circumstantial and disproportionate disadvantages, why personal time is seen as weak, why vacation isn’t valued, why testing is so highly depended upon, why health care isn’t a right, and why the idea of the government providing equitable services to create an even access to opportunity is seen as inherently socialist and evil? The Nordic countries are far smaller and less diverse than America, and people grow up with different expectations, but it makes me contemplate a simpler way of life, a prioritizing of personal time, and being less obsessed with monetary success. If anything, the Nordic countries are a consolation that the world is different in many ways and that there is progressive thought happening somewhere…even if it isn’t here.