Another fascinating concept developed by Aksel Sandemoose in his 1933 fictional novel En Flyktning Krysser Sitt Spor, or A Refugee Crosses His Track, which is based in a town called Jante, where one is not to believe they are better or smarter than anyone else.
Although the novel is fictional, the Laws of Jante are based on the unwritten social laws that already existed in the Nordics.
The Law of Jante (Janteloven) consists of Ten Laws (be warned, they seem harsh at first!):
Rule 1: You are not to think you are anything special.
Rule 2: You are not to think you are as good as we are.
Rule 3: You are not to think you are smarter than we are.
Rule 4: You are not to imagine yourself better than we are.
Rule 5: You are not to think you know more than we do.
Rule 6: You are not to think you are more important than we are.
Rule 7: You are not to think you are good at anything.
Rule 8: You are not to laugh at us.
Rule 9: You are not to think anyone cares about you.
Rule 10: You are not to think you can teach us anything.
At first, when reading these laws, I certainly was taken aback! I mean, we all have someone we know who will pick us up and tell us we’re special, smart, talented and the nicest people they know, so why does it sound like these laws are trying to tear us down?
I had to read them over a few times to get it: by living out these laws, you are making life more enjoyable for others around you, and by that, for yourself. You can be smart, you can be kind, you can be special and talented, but it doesn’t make you better than the person sitting next to you.
Again, so simple!
Happy Tenon Tip #3: Simplicity certainly doesn’t mean boring! When you travel to Sweden, there’s a quiet, clear, simple beauty among the vivid forests, the crystal-clear rivers and gorgeous mountains.