Swedes choose lagom

Not too much, not too little. That’s about the closest one can get when trying to translate the Swedish word lagom.
According to old sources lagom comes from laget om, which means as much as ‘around the team’. During the Viking era it was common to drink wine out of a horn passed from hand to hand. The challenge was to drink the exact amount of wine so that everybody would be left with a fair share.
Today the concern about finding balance is still very present in the inner life of Swedes. Lagom är bäst! – lagom is best- is an often heard expression. According to Scandinavians, lagom it is in the woods, or in an idyllic summerhouse on a sparsely populated island. Swedes will never be very fond of cities. Lagom expresses their ties with nature, their never ending longing for cosmic balance and the next midsummer’s eve.
Swedes don’t like conflict. Also that is lagom. Their adoration of common sense not only turned the old Vikings into the world’s best diplomats, but also inspired their system which keeps the middle between capitalism and socialism.
In this system it is not uncommon to have banks which advertise for a loan with the slogan ‘don’t loan more than you need’. In this system it is not strange to divide the fifteen months of confinement leave equally between mom and dad. In this system ambition on the work floor is not appreciated either.
Swedish companies do whatever they can to make sure their employees don’t get stressed up. Two extended coffee breaks a week together with all colleagues should help to reach this goal. An employee who skips a couple of breaks in a row in order to continue working will receive an official reprimand by superior order. Everybody must drink. No longer from a horn, but from a cup. But still lagom.

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