Life is not a bed of roses

If there is one thing this pandemic can give us, it would be a healthy dose of reality check. Life is not always a bed of roses.

«Young people must be told that life can be difficult», the commentator in the Norwegian daily Aftenposten, Frank Rossavik, writes on March 20th, 2021. He comments on the number of young people with psychological problems and he believes that TV series, commercials and social media contribute to create the impression among young people that happiness is the norm and problems are the exception. Do the schools and the parents do enough to prepare the kids for reality, he asks.  His conclusion is that this effort must be made more visible.

For those of us who have lived in the oil rich «happy land» of Norway since the 70s, the ongoing pandemic seems like a powerful correction. Most of the people I talk to are tired and fed up – in one way or another. My now deceased grandpa, born almost a hundred years ago, did experience life´s troubles earlier. The world war put life on hold. After the war he had to build a row house for his family with his own hands – after work. There was no paternity leave to avail himself of. 

«Modernity has wrought many enormous transformations, but it has not fundamentally changed the limitation, the vulnerability and the mortality connected with human existence», the world-famous sociologist Peter Berger wrote in «The Homeless Mind».  Perhaps this is a realization we would benefit from taking with us – and give to our children – on our life journey out of the pandemic.

Hermund Haaland is the Founder and European Director of think tank Skaperkraft.

Translated by: Kåre Melhus

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