Oprah did a show about Denmark. I have been thinking.
Why are we the happiest country in the world?
I believe it is because we socialize very early on. Just take our high school. which I attend whenever I feel a certain surplus. In almost every High school we have Friday bars so the students can drink a beer after school and don’t isolate themselves. Almost every incident of high school shooting is a story about an individual or a group of students who are marginalized from the general student population.
It continues in our firms where the element of human resource is highly valued. When people seek jobs in the firms I have worked in during my 25 years in the business, we look at whether the candidate is a fit in the organization rather than the grades and past experience.
Personally I believe that while our alcohol politic is unique I believe that it should be exported and used in other countries too.
Alcohol culture is not all. The question of the social pressure is also important.
Personally I believe that one of the greatest issues is that we allow our children or students in our schools to underachieve rather than pushing them to a position in the society they are not emotionally prepared to take. Because even years of studies don’t result in a high raise in pay when the taxes are paid only the most motivated people take on a higher education. In fact about 20 percent of the entire population drops out after 9 years of schooling and that is fine with most people, because it is hard to imaging worse than working with people who have to take medication to keep the pace in the workspace.
Second there is little social pressure. The social status is based on heritage rather than achievement. People, who are children of people with little or no education very seldom, achieve a higher education themselves. But when people are satisfied with their destiny the result is also a lower level of crime.
Another interesting point of interest is that our education system is second to none even when you take into consideration that it creates the basis for the student to question facts rather than learning the curriculum. When you have students entering the workspace ready to question the boss, ready to think out of the box, ready to increase mobility regardless of laws so every third driver speeds, you have created a win-win situation for the Danish industry. You create an innovative environment so it is easy to become leaders in the market. Denmark will never be able to cope in the global market when it comes to the numbers of highly educated workers , but an order given by a boss in Denmark are never followed without check the facts in it, so failures are easily spotted and wasted time used on assignment which should never have been given is minimized.
For outsiders entering Denmark it can seem odd that Danes think of themselves as a population who socialize with each other because they are rarely spoken to. To find an explanation you have to look at our history. Denmark has been attacked by other countries for several hundred years. Sweden committed ethnic cleansing for many years. Ban on Danish speech existed until 1930. We have little understanding for European unionization. We had as little influence on the process in the 1940’s as we have now.
Our protection mechanism is silence and an early attack on the morale among attackers. We did it when we joined the war on terrorism with the weapon of mass disturbance now known as the cartoon war.
The obvious question is: Can it last? Will Denmark maintain its position as the happiest country in the world?
In the long run I doubt it.
Our own politicians are in the process of betraying our unique culture because they want the population to survive extra years so they can increate the pension age to 80 over a few decades rather than 67 as it is today, so suddenly we have smoking laws and a minimum age on alcohol purchase. The result has been violence. A good advice is not to park your car in an area where the youth don’t drink. They will burn your car. In some areas in the larger cities the peace is secured by a kind of militias consisting of members of sober and bitter youth gangs rather than the police.
However, the ordinary Dane is not disturbed by those one-sided attacks by youth gangs which have caused several countries to warn visitors to Denmark from entering certain parts of Denmark. The biggest fear is to become victim of the toughest weapon law in the world. Just carrying a simple Stanley knife down to a shop can earn you 7 days in jail. Almost every weekend soccer fans who basically is working class people are detained for six hours without charges. We are in the process of becoming one giant juvenile jail so the next generation of Danes would socialize less and social distinction in the population will increase.
When it happens Denmark will no longer be the happiest country in the world