Tag Archives: Jante law

You are not to think you are anything special?

3 Jul

Community3jpg

The ten rules state:

  1. You’re not to think you are anything special.
  2. You’re not to think you are as good as we are.
  3. You’re not to think you are smarter than we are.
  4. You’re not to imagine yourself better than we are.
  5. You’re not to think you know more than we do.
  6. You’re not to think you are more important than we are.
  7. You’re not to think you are good at anything.
  8. You’re not to laugh at us.
  9. You’re not to think anyone cares about you.
  10. You’re not to think you can teach us anything.

Your child is living in a world of comparisons and it is hurting them. No other generation in the history of ever have spent so much time comparing themselves to others and it’s causing all sort of social and personal anxieties.

They have also been told that they are above average and the truth is that some of us are below average some of us are above average but most of us are average that’s how average works and thats ok. Most of us are average.

If we are all special then we have to change the meaning of the word special because as it sit’s we can’t all be “Better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual” as the Oxford dictionary outlines.

Your child is living in a world of comparisons and it is hurting them

The ten rules outlined above are called the Jante Law in Denmark Jantelagen in Sweden and Janteloven in Norway. They are derived from a book written in 1933 A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks by Aksel Sandemose a Danish turned Norwegian author. Jante is a fictional town that Sandemose writes about that focuses on the collective rather than the individual.

For many who live in rural Norway, Denmark and Sweden these rules have subconsciously been a part of their way of life for many years. No one is seen as greater than the collective. It has led to an egalitarian society with higher levels of humility than most and a place for each country on the top ten list of the Worlds happiest countries. Hard though if your personality wants to stick out from the norm.

In Sweden they have a term many other countries struggle with Lagom. Lagom  for the Swedes means not too much of one or the other ,just right, or average. It is this ability to find contentment in what you have rather than wishing for more, that allows the Swedes a level of contentment that other countries struggle with. Align your expectations with your reality and Happiness follows.  Spend your evening outlining your amazing  accomplishments to dinner party full of Swedes might be the last dinner party you are invited to for a while. It is simply not the done thing.

Maybe the subconscious living of the laws in Nordic countries allows Happiness to be maintained as expectations are lower than in other countries and when those expectations of Life are surpassed or equalled then happiness is experienced.

Happiness ≥ reality – expectations

In a world of increasing child and teen anxiety, trying to prove your place in the world and base your existence on success is raising our expectation levels to unattainable heights. Is a bit of Jante and Lagom positive for the way we interact with others. Is a society based around Jante law the key to a happier existence? The world of exposure to information, comparison, negative news and less privacy is where kids and teens presently live and it is not serving them well.  They have a fear of the world and a ready naivety in sharing information to others without the realisation of the consequences.

There are eleven laws of Jante outlined in Sandemon’s novel but one law is rarely mentioned. I think that law is more pertinent to why so many experience higher levels of anxiety and isolation than ever before, it’s a law that sums up our modern data and information obsessed cultures and it’s become increasingly worrying. For every parent that allows their child to pst and share information online. Be aware of law number 11

  1. Perhaps you don’t think we know a few things about you?

 

%d bloggers like this: