Friday, October 12, 2007

Back to basics (5): The Law of Jante

In one of his last books* Paulo Coelho explains to the reader the meaning of the “Law of Jante”, first introduced by the Scandinavian writer Aksel Sandemose in his 1933 novel A Fugitive Crossing His Tracks. In short the Law of Jante means something along the lines of “You are worthless; no one is interested in what you think, therefore you had better opt for mediocrity and anonymity. Do this and you will never face any major problems in life.” Coelho continues by saying “that it is thanks to the Law of Jante that the world has been manipulated in all kinds of ways by people who often end up achieving their own evil ends; we see the great gap between rich and poor, see social injustice, violence and people who are forced to give up their dreams.”

What will happen a couple of generations from now when people will look back at the beginning of the new millennium? Will they realize that civil society, business and politics, although knowing all the facts that have been presented by the IPCC and clearly communicated by leaders like Al Gore, haven’t really done enough to prevent climate change, so that everything got worse and made life impossible in many areas of the planet, causing huge migration waves and decimation of humankind by until then unknown diseases that appeared because of an immense number of people living on very limited space in megacities of 50 million citizens and bigger? Will they simply say “well, blame it on the Law of Jante?”

I prefer Paulo Coelho’s proposal to create an “Anti-Law of Jante” to prevent things from getting worse: “You are worth much more than you think. Your work and your presence on this earth are important. Of course, such ideas could land you in a lot of trouble breaking the Law of Jante, but don’t be intimidated. Continue to live without fear, and you will triumph in the end.”

With Al Gore and Rajendra Pachauri (for the IPCC) receiving this year’s Nobel Prize for Peace the Nobel Committee in Stockholm has sent a clear wake-up call to the world today: let’s not allow this to happen. All necessary information is transparent; let’s fight the Law of Jante now!

We in GRI are proud of having had the chance to hear Al Gore at the first GRI Global Conference on Sustainability and Transparency in 2006 and are already looking forward to the second conference in May 2008 when Mr. Pachauri will be with us.

* Paulo Coelho: Like a flowing river, HarperCollins Publisher, 2006


Anonymous said...

I'm also a big Paulo Coelho fan and I don't know if you’ve heard about his blog
I started as a fan and now I'm collaborating with him and thought that you would like to enter his universe.
Check out the blog, if you want, or subscribe to his newsletter

You'll see a community of warriors of light sharing ideas, dreams and most importantly following their personal legend.

"Only those who find life find treasures."

See you there and have a great day!

OnlinePharmacy said...

ahXX4D Your blog is great. Articles is interesting!

safe viagra said...

CararQ Thanks to author.

name said...

bl8c0S Thanks to author.

distribution of audience in electronic meridia said...

Good job!

custer south dakota motel said...


name said...

Wonderful blog.

california casino tours said...


commercial tour vessels for sale said...

Wonderful blog.

crawford insurance said...

Thanks to author.

ringtones said...

Wonderful blog.



cialis me said...

BbIlt0 actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.

free ringtones fo said...

Thanks to author.

carpet said...

black mold exposureblack mold symptoms of exposurewrought iron garden gatesiron garden gates find them herefine thin hair hairstylessearch hair styles for fine thin hairnight vision binocularsbuy night vision binocularslipitor reactionslipitor allergic reactionsluxury beach resort in the philippines

afordable beach resorts in the philippineshomeopathy for big with great mineral makeup bargainsmineral makeup wholesalersprodam iphone Apple prodam iphone prahacect iphone manualmanual for P 168 iphonefero 52 binocularsnight vision Fero 52 binocularsThe best night vision binoculars here

night vision binoculars bargainsfree photo albums computer programsfree software to make photo albumsfree tax formsprintable tax forms for free craftmatic air bedcraftmatic air bed adjustable info hereboyd air bedboyd night air bed lowest pricefind air beds in wisconsinbest air beds in wisconsincloud air beds

best cloud inflatable air bedssealy air beds portableportables air bedsrv luggage racksaluminum made rv luggage racksair bed raisedbest form raised air bedsaircraft support equipmentsbest support equipments for aircraftsbed air informercialsbest informercials bed airmattress sized air beds

bestair bed mattress antique doorknobsantique doorknob identification tipsdvd player troubleshootingtroubleshooting with the dvd playerflat panel television lcd vs plasmaflat panel lcd television versus plasma pic the bestThe causes of economic recessionwhat are the causes of economic recessionadjustable bed air foam The best bed air foam

hoof prints antique equestrian printsantique hoof prints equestrian printsBuy air bedadjustablebuy the best adjustable air bedsair beds canadian storesCanadian stores for air beds

migraine causemigraine treatments floridaflorida headache clinicdrying dessicantair drying dessicantdessicant air dryerpediatric asthmaasthma specialistasthma children specialistcarpet cleaning dallas txcarpet cleaners dallascarpet cleaning dallas

Anonymous said...

The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.