One of the first questions that gets asked when I say, “I am moving to Sweden” is why? There are many reasons behind that from picking Sweden to why leave America, my home country. Before diving into why Sweden, let’s talk about why not America. For many years the culture of America has deteriorated greatly in many ways. From the wide-spread greed, selfishness, consumerism, the ever strengthening “me” mentality, to the division of race, social standing(the gap between the wealthy and the poor), and religion. In the work culture, there is the need to be first, to be the best, to be on top, a side-effect of the “me” mentality. It’s not about the greater good, it’s about “me”. In most jobs, especially in the corporate world it is a dog eat dog world. There is no compassion for your co-workers, there is no fairness in pay, titles, responsibilities. Hard work, no longer pays off. It’s the complete opposite, hard work just means more abuse. I was told verbatim “If you make over 100K a year, I own your evenings, if you make over 200K a year, I own your nights and your weekends” Is this really what we are striving for? You make a decent income, but have no life? Where is the balance in that?
When you realize that you are never going to achieve the life you want here, in the country you grew up in, it’s time to make changes, to think outside the box, make a drastic and bold move towards something better. Complacency might as well be your death. Sadly many never come to this realization, or are too scared to act on it if they do. I was neck deep in the corporate world, and I demanded a balance between work and my life outside the job, and lost out on promotions because of it, even though I worked harder and was smarter than most in my department. It was a world of the “Yes Men” that which I was not.
Then there is the state of our government, it is as corrupt as you can get, congress men being bought out for chump change to sway their votes one way or another. Reality TV stars being voted into presidency. It’s laughable at best. This is a country beneficial only to the rich, with the middle class struggling to make ends meet, and the poor not being motivated to do anything. The government favors the rich, and not just individuals, but big businesses as well. This includes major tax breaks, to turning a blind eye on illegal and unethical behavior. This is not a government that works for the betterment of the people. This is a government that works for the betterment of themselves, and those with the clout to help their campaigns. These are just a few of the many reasons I am seeking a better life, in a better country. I won’t go to much further here, I think you get the picture.
So why Sweden? This was not an easy choice by any means, and did not come on a whim. There was thought, and research done, looking into their social culture, their government structure, healthcare system, taxation, education, overall quality of life, you name it. That is not to say that in this research Sweden was this utopia, void of all wrong doing. There is no such place that exist on this earth, and it would be hard to achieve that as long as man is in existence. That is just the reality of it. That said, the culture here is a far cry from America. People are generally happy. Why? Because they care for their society as a whole. They are turned off by flashy consumption, which runs the show in America, and that contributes to the ever growing debt problem. They value a work/life balance and realize that there is more to life than working 80 hours a week to make a living. The government, while not perfect looks out for the general good of the people. Sure, taxes are high, but what you get is good universal healthcare, attendance to universities, many social programs, programs to ensure job opportunities, etc. In other words, your tax money is tangible, you can see and take advantage of the benefits, after-all, isn’t that what taxes should be for? Living in America, it is the privileged that get the best education, the best healthcare. It shouldn’t be this way, you should not have to be rich to be healthy. You should not have to be rich to obtain an education. Instead, you either go without or go into debt. The general population in Sweden is smarter, more liberal, and self aware. They take care of one another, they are honest people, you can trust. You don’t have to always be looking over your shoulder, waiting to be screwed over. Where Americans are growing dumber, either by lack of education or inundation of social media to the point where no one can think for themselves, Idiocracy sounds closer to the truth than and outlandish movie. Additionally, Americans are growing more and more close minded, and are only out to care for themselves, this is the culture America has created. To put it simply, I chose Sweden, because the life I want to live, life outside of the societal norms of America can be achieved here, through common ground, openness to a different lifestyle, and more over acceptance of it. In America, it would not be attainable.
From an idea to fruition, we set out to begin a new life, in a new country. A fresh start to bring to light a fresh perspective.