Could Lagom Be The Answer To Our Suffering?
Reflections on Contrasts and Compassion: A Day in Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica, California, a picturesque coastal city, has always been a place of stark contrasts. Each time I visit this beautiful part of the country, I am reminded of the diverse tapestry of human existence that unfolds before my eyes. As I walked down towards Venice Beach today, I couldn’t help but notice the subtle changes from my last visit. There seemed to be fewer people living on the streets, and the intensity of life along the beach walk appeared to have mellowed. Yet, the deep underlying problems persist, and they are as intriguing as they are disheartening.
Strolling through this vibrant area, I was struck by the dichotomy that defines this part of the world. On one side, you have tourists and locals relishing the sun-drenched beach, sipping drinks, and soaking in the coastal charm. On the other side, mere steps away, lies a different reality. Someone is sleeping on the pavement, their existence reduced to a sidewalk. Another individual rummages through garbage bins in search of sustenance, while a third lies on the street, seemingly detached from their own body. This is the land of contrast, where affluence and privilege coexist with destitution and despair.
The question that looms over Santa Monica, and indeed the world, is how to address this profound human dilemma. Some choose to avert their gaze, closing their eyes to the harsh realities of their surroundings. Others dedicate their lives to helping those in need, pouring their energy and resources into charitable endeavors. There is no shortage of solutions proposed by well-intentioned individuals, yet the problem persists.
Sitting in my comfortable apartment, sipping tea and editing photos from the day, I am acutely aware of my own privilege. I have the luxury of a roof over my head, a full stomach, and a cozy sofa to relax on. It’s a stark contrast to the scenes I witnessed just hours ago. These disparities underscore the urgency of addressing both global and personal challenges.
Perhaps the solution lies in finding balance – balance within ourselves and balance in our society. In a world that often demands more, more, and more, maybe the key is to seek “lagom,” a Swedish word that translates to “not too little, not too much.” Embracing this philosophy could lead us toward a more equitable and harmonious world.
Somewhere along the way, we learned to equate happiness with having more, whether it’s more possessions, more wealth, or more success. In this pursuit, we often forget that we are not isolated beings but interconnected members of a larger community. True abundance cannot exist if it’s not shared. Love, care, honesty – these virtues should be abundant and accessible to all.
The answer to our collective predicament might indeed lie in adopting the art of “lagom.” If we shift our focus from endless accumulation to finding contentment in having “just enough,” resources could be distributed more fairly, and compassion could flow abundantly. It’s a philosophy that could lead us closer to a world where there is enough for everyone, where the pursuit of balance becomes the true path to happiness.
I Frid, Madelaine 🌿
💡 In a world full of contrast, have you ever considered what “just enough” means to you personally?