There is an index called the ”Good Country Index”. The idea behind the index is quoted as follows: “The Good Country Index is simple: to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away, all relative to its size.” As of today Sweden and Denmark are ranked 1st and 2nd in the overall ratings.
Contributing to the well being of the world should not be taken lightly- neither should the fact that we’re currently excelling at it. Unfortunately recent years have brought an ever increasing xenophobic mentality to our country as well as to many others. This mentality threatens the very foundation that Sweden was built upon. The idea that everyone is created equal, regardless of ethnicity or religious views is slowly fading to the rumbling noise of hatred and fear. If Raoul Wallenberg could see Sweden today he would be ashamed.
With the recent acts of terror in the world it is clear why people feel uneasy. It is important, however, that we never let this fear consume us, because that is exactly what malevolent people want – to infect us with their hatred. They want us to be afraid of the stranger at our doorstep: they want us to shut him out and despise him. The moment we fall for this trap is when we, as humans, lose. Because when we marginalize the stranger, the sliver of hope that was left will go out, only to be reignited by a spark of anger and malevolence. He in turn will have the same feelings for us, as we did for him. This is what burns bridges and starts wars.
It’s easy to sit back and claim that everything was better in the olden days. If we look at the facts however, it is clear that it wasn’t. It’s easy to forget that Sweden experienced severe starvation just 150 years ago. That women couldn’t vote 100 years ago. That we have had peace for over 200 years.
The person standing at our doorstep is not the devil, it’s merely someone looking to take part in this fantastic nation we live in; someone escaping starvation, war and terror. Thus, we should invite him in for a lovely cup of Skånerost, ask him who he is and if we can help him in any way. We should tell him about ourselves, who we are and where we stand regarding human rights. We should not judge him, whoever he might be – but show him that he made the right choice coming to Sweden and all the possibilities that now lie within his grasp.
At the beginning of 2016 we shut the door and have kept it closed since. We did this by severely restricting access to and from Sweden through the Öresund region. A decision that was made through a combination of xenophobia from the citizens of Sweden as well as idiocy from government politicians. A region that has been on the rise is now slowly being destroyed. A path with a price tag of 20 billion kronor and that was meant to eradicate country borders, increase business opportunities and offer freedom of movement for everyone around and in the region is now being strangled.
We are currently the “goodest” country on earth, it is however very questionable whether we will keep the title or not, if we continue down the current road. I hope that 2017 will be a better year for Sweden and that our politicians, as well as inhabitants, hear the voice of reason despite the ever louder murmur of fear. I hope that we – as a country – regain our ambition to do good towards the rest of the world and help those in need.
If you want to look at the “Good Country Index” yourself you can visit www.goodcountry.org
I wish you all happy holidays and a happy new year