In my perfect Goldilocks world everything is not too much, or not too little, but “just right” for me, for Goldi. Lagom is a Swedish word meaning pretty much the same, having not too much or not too little, but the “just right” amount. It is my opinion that most Swedes mean this to be in moderation, in balance, and in appropriateness for everyone about everything. Having too much of anything would be inappropriate, and out of balance. They believe that there is a certain respectable level of attainment of goods, space and even happiness. Simplified and in an environmentally sustainable world I get the idea, for example, that maybe we only need two towels. One towel to use when we are drying ourselves off, while the other towel is being washed. This would be sufficient, so it would be best – Lagom. Now our closets could be smaller, our homes could be smaller, less energy would be used for the homes and for the production of towels. Towel selling stores could be very small, because towels last a very long time. So more energy saved etc. etc.… and so far all I have been talking about is towels. What if we expanded that to everything? How great that would be for our environment! But what about the economy, would appropriateness make things obsolete? Would we ever need new technology? Would we rationalize our way into lethargy? Would we be happy? Everything would be just fine the way it is for as long as it is, until one day manufactures could no longer produce anything, because no one was buying things anymore. So manufacturing jobs were lost, and sales clerks, and the carpenters that built the stores were no longer needed, and the engineers that built the machines, and the managers, the secretaries, and the marketing company, and again I could go on and on… and I know that I am way over simplifying this, but please bear with me.
I also get that if I have a hundred dollars and I spent it at any store that the store could pay suppliers, staff etc. and then those paid people could spend it at the grocery store, at another store, pay their staff, or pay their bills… then those people would get to spend the money, and so on and so on. So I also get that we need to spend to keep the world evolving. To get the new technologies that will someday make this world a better place, and to give us a reason to create or whatever it is that we like to do… to live! …and no I am not advocating hording or consumerism. I just think that a modified version of Lagom would be ideal.
Please read Part 2 – Opportunities in our Economy and Life!
Just a thought!