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Quotes from “The Nordic Theory of Everything” by Anu Partanen

If you talk to writers or directors, it has to do with some kind of misery. I don’t know any plain happy person who could create something interesting
Encountering the man on the New York subway was one of the moments that made it clear to me early on that in the United States you are really on your own.
From a Nordic point of view, it’s the current American approach that creates relationships of dependency
Others were paying thousands of dollars each month to help their parents cope, and some women in the prime of their working years were dropping out of the workforce and giving up their careers in order to care for aging family members.
When one person has to put part of their own potential or dream on hold, or quash it altogether, while their spouse and children rely on that person’s sacrifice, everyone is being subtly held emotional hostage.
On the whole Finns tend to see the baby box as a delightful rite of passage, and a symbolic welcome from society at large. It says: We honor your choice to have children, and we support you in the adventure; you’re not alone.
Supporting the psychological, physiological, and financial well-being of families through paid parental leaves, sick days, and genuinely recuperative vacations helps ensure that children grow into healthy and productive members of society rather than into prisoners, patients, or the unemployed.
“The family remains a central social institution in the Nordic countries, but it too is infused with the same moral logic stressing autonomy and equality. The ideal family is made up of adults who work and are not financially dependent on the other, and children who are encouraged to be as independent as early as possible.
Just a few months after leaving Finland, I’d gone from being a successful and happy career woman to an anxious, wary, and self-doubting mess.
Mothers in America seemed capable of miracles—returning to work just a few weeks after giving birth, pumping milk between meetings, and working at home on the weekends by managing children with one hand and their BlackBerrys with the other.
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