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  • Writer's pictureHannah Telluselle

At whose expense?

Today, I've been thinking about our personal values and when they come in opposition to a group's. Again, the question of conformity to belong arises. We often speak about deal-breakers within in our personal relationships, as something natural that can help us decide whether to go or to leave, whether to try and change and improve or to distance ourselves from. While agreeing to disagree is the most peaceful way to end any relationship, some battles must be fought. Battles to exercise our rights belong to this category.

When in a conflict, there are two things that are common: We either fight over an issue and how this can, or should, be solved, or we fight over how we communicate about it. While both are equally important, we must ask ourselves where we draw the line. In Sweden and in Swedish, I find myself most often becoming personally attacked, whenever I share my opinion in a friendly, respectful and positive manner. I can't tell you how devastating that is - how it all becomes about: "Who do I think I am, to say that". It's all about being famous or influence, saying an opinion and then wanting to make someone into what he or she best thinks serves his or her fame and popularity, silencing all opposition and hindering competition. When in fact, I would never utter my opinion in any circumstance, especially not online, in any matter, where I don't have a profound knowledge and experience myself of the matter. It was something that my father taught me and he was quite right about. If you don't know what you're talking about, you can do much harm, even if you don't intended to. When it comes to competition, those who hinder me from having success, are far from any, because they don't have the same education and experience, or talent (for example creativity and writing, outspoken honesty, and leadership skills), as I do.

At the same time, the willingness to take a stand and discuss topics of the news, seem to be ever so trending. We condemn this or that, and then invite the conflict inside our borders to continue, instead of leaving it where it belongs, within its context and cultural frame of understanding. Do we even have the facts to? This is why, I like to follow along a little in the American debates, where they have come further, when it comes to being discrimination aware and not being mislead by fake news or unchecked facts.

And most of all: In the United States, there is an allowing to have a dream, a goal, an aspiration to become great. A drive of positivity. In Sweden, it's all about never to (except for sports), unless you fit into the agenda of politicians and media, with a proven number of followers. All driven by complaints, rather than constructive criticism. Did you know, that most of the time, many Swedish journalists simply repeat what someone has posted on Instagram or what another news-outlet has said? Nobody seems to be keen on doing actual interviews with two opposing parties anymore (politicians excluded). How can then any new information be shared and we be able to grow as humans? How can we correct and improve any faults we see in society, if none ever becomes vetted and tried?

My relationship to Sweden, has become similar to the one I've had with my father: An ever childlike hope for improvement and change, that never becomes fulfilled.

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