Freedom & positive attitude in the land of the beautiful people
A good few years ago in Ireland we used to go to parties and comment on the divide between the ‘op’s and the ‘bp’s as in the ordinary people and the beautiful people. It’s funny that now, this all comes back when I am living in the land of the beautiful people….In our often drink infused conversations we used to imagine that it would probably have to take a lot of effort in order to be so perfectly beautiful and then other days or a few drinks later we would comment that maybe you just had to live in a beautiful bubble and know no better. Living here in Sweden, I have to say it often feels like the latter prevails even with completely sober thought processes behind it.
I often feel as if I am traversing an alien universe when having conversations with colleagues where everything is blissful and super. What happened to a little natural cynicism, a good rant, some polarised opinion differences or the odd whinge? Is this only reserved for everywhere else but here and maybe that is just it. Maybe these things are only reserved for the anglo-saxon world where the muppets in the balcony and a lot of other great satire or societal commentary was invented.
It is extremely tiring and difficult to have to narrow down your personality to a one sided reflection in order to fit into the perfect bubble. The risk if you don’t is standing out from the crowd, which is considered decidedly uncool. Somehow in my world this seems very limiting and stiffling, what happened to freedom of speech and freedom of expression. I am wondering what it will take to actually get it right some time…. and more so whether I will ever be able to do what it takes to fit into this society as one of the ‘same same’ believers. For now I am a total non-believer in that concept, I reject average as a rule and aim for excellence and the best even if that means standing out from the crowd and upsets the status quo of cosy comfortable sameness.
I am starting to wonder also if there is a cultural difference in the definition of positive attitude. I always was challenged by the happy clappy brigade and earlier blog posts will have probably expressed exactly that, so I wonder is there degrees of positive?
I don’t have the answers and wouldn’t even now where to start. I guess the best is to do some self-reflection and decide how many steps on the positive stakes one choses to take. Silence and modesty can often be misunderstood for negativity also or so I am learning, criticism on how something doesn’t work is equally classed as dangerously un-positive. So what can you say or do, without becoming a fake actor version of your own self. To me that approach would be a definite recipe for self-loathing…
I wonder if it is only in the arts and press that one can have strong opinions and be respected for them and followed for them even if they are outright negative? I also wonder whether being part of the enterpreneurial few is an escape into freedom of expression?
The question I am toying with is whether it is possible to create a society where difference is considered a positive or even an organisation based on differences?
So far I haven’t got the answers nor do I know if they already exist…
In any case living in the land of the beautiful happy people reminds me of a comment a German friend of mine made when I told him I was moving here, which still comforts me namely ‘Be ready to be brainwashed that everything is better and greater in Sweden and that perfect society only exists there’. I often have to admit that his observation seems to be part of the perfect icy bubble.