August 13, 2011

Rules and why you shouldn't break them


What I love the most about Sweden is the way everything here works smoothly and according to a plan. It gives you a feeling of security and belonging in the society, where people don’t necessarily speak your language (or the other way around), but in the eyes of the state you are the same.

But we are all coming from different places and for some of us bending the law a bit isn’t such a big thing. How many times did you cross the street while the red was still on or “forgot” to swipe your ticket for only one stop? Did you ever lie at the entrance to a club about your age so that you can get in? And all of this sounds so innocent, but is still considered a crime in the eyes of law and many people.

You may wonder why I am writing this down. Something very scary and completely unnecessary happened to my friend this week. Hopefully it will solve, Chalmers is helping with their counseling, Västraffik will (actually they should but who knows) fire the man who is responsible and everything will go back to normal. But it made me think a lot about the country I am in, people around me, and the way we respond to each other’s habits and how differently we perceive the reality around us.

The reason behind the title of this blog is simple: when you break a rule you automatically find yourself outside of the safe zone. And if you were inside of it long enough everything becomes very simple to you: sort of black and white - it is either correct or wrong and there is nothing in between. It stops being important that somebody bullied you, both mentally and psychically, pushed you so that you hit the glass at tram station with your head, shouted and insulted you - because you have earned it by breaking the law. That just shouldn’t be allowed! If you are wrong there is fine to pay for that, nobody has any right to lay a finger on you or try to abuse you in any other way and especially not the right to say you deserved any of that for the so called crime you committed.

It is that which makes me angry the most. How easy it is for people to judge and turn the blind eye towards real problems. Like how capable are people Västraffik hires or should an ex kickboxer on steroids be a controller? Is there a way to fight this type of aggression so that similar situations don’t repeat? And mostly - how multicultural and open the society really is?! I’ve seen people talking through the wrong ticket/no ticket situations, but they were Swedish. Once you start speaking in English there is no way to get without a fine. On a certain level I understand, since in my country I would do the same (bailing out of a fine) and here I wouldn’t even try it.
But still, this whole event made me speechless. Not the price you have to pay for going around with a wrong ticket. Not even the aggression, to that I am sort of used. But that a person would actually say somebody deserves all of this because they did wrong, I still cannot accept. And I don’t think I ever will.

Sweden was and still is one of the best places you can live in by my opinion, but this made me think twice about the people around me. I don’t wish to generalize and I am probably doing it, but my usual openness towards others just got a little bit more controlled. Not because I have something to hide, but because I don’t wish to have such judgmental people around me.

On the other hand, today was wonderful: my therapy goes well and my back hurts less. It was a sunny day and I’ve spent 2 hours in the sun, just lying on the grass in a nearby park and reading a book (from previous post). And in the end of the day, we went for afterwork and I’ve spent some quality time with friends. Just as usual.