Author Topic: Lutheranism the key to happiness?  (Read 1628 times)

peter_speckhard

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Lutheranism the key to happiness?
« on: May 04, 2021, 06:20:55 PM »
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/04/finland-happiness-lagom-hygge.html

From the article: But there is more to the story. We should not ignore expectations, the other aspect of the formula used in the World Happiness Report. Consistent with their Lutheran heritage, the Nordic countries are united in their embrace of curbed aspirations for the best possible life. This mentality is famously captured in the Law of Jante—a set of commandments believed to capture something essential about the Nordic disposition to personal success: “You’re not to thin k you are anything special; you’re not to imagine yourself better than we are; you’re not to think you are good at anything,” and so on. The Nordic ethos stands in particularly stark contrast to the American culture characterized by “extreme emphasis upon the accumulation of wealth as a symbol of success,” as observed by the sociologist Robert K. Merton in the 1930s.

The Nordic countries provide decent lives for their citizens and prevent them from experiencing sustained periods of material hardship. Moreover, they embrace a cultural orientation that sets realistic limits to one’s expectations for a good life. In these societies, the imaginary 10-step ladder is not so tall, the first rung is pretty high up, and the distance between the steps is relatively short. People are socialized to believe that that what they have is as good as it gets—or close enough. This mindset explains why Finns are the happiest people in the world despite living in small apartments, earning modest incomes—with even more limited purchasing power thanks to high prices and taxes—and, unlike Iceland, having never even made it to the World Cup!

Dave Benke

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Re: Lutheranism the key to happiness?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2021, 07:07:29 PM »
Lower expectations.  That's the ticket. 

In the US every child is mentored to believe they can one day be President.  The odds are roughly 300,000,000 to one.  The Lutheran concept of vocation allows for fulfillment, dignity and yes - happiness without being the straw that stirs the drink.  Plus existence is grace-based.  On the other hand, you can keep the Norwegians.  No thank you.  I prefer the Finns.

Dave Benke

peter_speckhard

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Re: Lutheranism the key to happiness?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2021, 11:37:32 PM »
Just so long as everyone else recognizes the historically Lutheran countries as inherently superior, we can afford to think little of ourselves and set the bar low. Maybe not Italian low, but low. French low. Well, Norman French. Okay, Flemish.

RDPreus

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Re: Lutheranism the key to happiness?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2021, 10:56:16 AM »
Lower expectations.  That's the ticket. 

In the US every child is mentored to believe they can one day be President.  The odds are roughly 300,000,000 to one.  The Lutheran concept of vocation allows for fulfillment, dignity and yes - happiness without being the straw that stirs the drink.  Plus existence is grace-based.  On the other hand, you can keep the Norwegians.  No thank you.  I prefer the Finns.

Dave Benke

Where does your attitude toward Norwegians come from? 

Dave Likeness

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Re: Lutheranism the key to happiness?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2021, 11:48:59 AM »
Between  1820 and 1925 about 860,000 Norwegians emigrated to the United States.
They settled primarily in the Midwest in states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and
Illinois.  My grandfather come over on a boat from Norway in 1901 and got off at
Ellis island in New York. Two years later his sweetheart came the same way.  They
were married in Davenport, Iowa in 1903 and joined a LCMS church there that was
started in 1901.  The church was within walking distance of their home.  They had
six children including my father who were baptized and confirmed at that Lutheran
church.  Yes, these Norwegians were a happy group who focused on family and their
faith in  Christ.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 11:52:17 AM by Dave Likeness »

Dave Benke

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Re: Lutheranism the key to happiness?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2021, 01:28:50 PM »
Lower expectations.  That's the ticket. 

In the US every child is mentored to believe they can one day be President.  The odds are roughly 300,000,000 to one.  The Lutheran concept of vocation allows for fulfillment, dignity and yes - happiness without being the straw that stirs the drink.  Plus existence is grace-based.  On the other hand, you can keep the Norwegians.  No thank you.  I prefer the Finns.

Dave Benke

Where does your attitude toward Norwegians come from?

The Viking Inn in St. Louis, which I found far less attractive than the Best Western.  I guess I could have attributed that to the Danes or Swedes, but it always seemed a Norwegian hangout.  More though I have had good experiences with Finns.   For example, I gave the opening prayer at the Kennedy Airport Rotary when the head of FinnAir came to get an award.  His name was Harri Holkeri (+), pretty impressive guy.  So he drew the raffle prize for two free tix to Finland on Finnair, and..........I won.  First class, dude.  We actually went at the time of my suspension from the LCMS roster, a get-away trip, and it was both an enjoyable and remarkable voyage including going to St. Petersburg on the Sibelius train.  So less anti-Norwegian and more pro-Finn.

Dave Benke

Jeremy Loesch

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Re: Lutheranism the key to happiness?
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2021, 01:40:04 PM »
And the Finns typically have the best hockey sweaters at the Olympics with the word Suomi on it.  The effectiveness of Finnish hockey may not match the beauty of the sweaters, but still.

Jeremy
A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.

Charles Austin

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Re: Lutheranism the key to happiness?
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2021, 01:41:29 PM »
Dave Benke writes:
In the US every child is mentored to believe they can one day be President.
I comment:
And we recently learned that this is not necessarily a good thing.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Looking forward to participating in the ordination of a young woman from  Minnesota called to a parish in western North Dakota.

pastorg1@aol.com

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Re: Lutheranism the key to happiness?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2021, 03:57:54 PM »
An observation having visited Lake Minnetonka and the Cedarhurst area for the past 40 years: It used to be that there were rather small, what we might call mansions, on the lake. The Pillsbury estate was impressive but suited the site. I think the Pillsbury heirs were driving old Dodges around town during that period.

What’s changed in the past 40 years is that the nouveau riche have started building hotel-size mansions on the lake; one with 20 bedrooms. The newcomers aren’t  the grain merchants from the past or the owners of local department stores. The newcomers are the people that own a national chain of barbershops or the inventor of those nasal spreaders that supposedly help you breathe better at night.

Nothing wrong with them having a lot of money it’s just that being rich can’t buy proportionate taste
and a communal sense of fitting in.“Nok” “Enough” in Norwegian?

Peter (Money can’t buy you poverty) Garrison
« Last Edit: May 06, 2021, 12:05:50 AM by pastorg1@aol.com »
Pete Garrison, STS

peter_speckhard

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Re: Lutheranism the key to happiness?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2021, 04:21:01 PM »
An observation having visited Lake Minnetonka and the Cedarhurst area for the past 40 years: it used to be that there were rather small, what we might call mansions, on the lake. The Pillsbury estate was impressive but suited the site. I think the Pillsbury heirs were driving old Dodges around town during that period.

What’s changed in the past 40 years is that the nouveau riche have started building hotel-size mansions on the lake; one with 20 bedrooms. The newcomers aren’t  the grain merchants from the past or the owners of local department stores. The newcomers are the people that own a national  chain of barbershops or the inventor of those nasal spreaders that supposedly help you breathe better at night.

Nothing wrong with them having a lot of money it’s just that being rich can’t buy proportionate taste
and a communal sense of fitting in.“Nok” “Enough” in Norwegian?

Peter (Money can’t buy you poverty) Garrison
It makes a big difference if the big money is also local money. Someone who lives in town has informal accountability. He isn't likely to build something obnoxious or wreck things for the locals. But someone building their fourth or fifth getaway that helps pay for itself as an airbnb someplace touristy doesn't really have to care what the locals think. 

Robert Johnson

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Re: Lutheranism the key to happiness?
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2021, 07:20:32 PM »
Between  1820 and 1925 about 860,000 Norwegians emigrated to the United States.
They settled primarily in the Midwest in states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and
Illinois.

The Swedes and Finns acted similarly. They were coming from countries with awful weather and arriving in a country that was so huge that it included vast swaths of places with more pleasant climates.

Yet they went to places that replicated the cold, hard winters they came from.

What were they thinking?

James_Gale

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Re: Lutheranism the key to happiness?
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2021, 07:29:10 PM »
Between  1820 and 1925 about 860,000 Norwegians emigrated to the United States.
They settled primarily in the Midwest in states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and
Illinois.

The Swedes and Finns acted similarly. They were coming from countries with awful weather and arriving in a country that was so huge that it included vast swaths of places with more pleasant climates.

Yet they went to places that replicated the cold, hard winters they came from.

What were they thinking?


The upper Midwest is blanketed by some of the nation’s most productive farmland. The immigrants included a large number of farmers. They knew what they were doing. (The winter homes in Sarasota came a couple generations later.)

Weedon

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Re: Lutheranism the key to happiness?
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2021, 07:34:00 PM »
Dave Benke writes:
In the US every child is mentored to believe they can one day be President.
I comment:
And we recently learned that this is not necessarily a good thing.

Now, Pr. Austin, I didn’t think President Obama was THAT bad.

Robert Johnson

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Re: Lutheranism the key to happiness?
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2021, 07:39:07 PM »
Between  1820 and 1925 about 860,000 Norwegians emigrated to the United States.
They settled primarily in the Midwest in states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and
Illinois.

The Swedes and Finns acted similarly. They were coming from countries with awful weather and arriving in a country that was so huge that it included vast swaths of places with more pleasant climates.

Yet they went to places that replicated the cold, hard winters they came from.

What were they thinking?


The upper Midwest is blanketed by some of the nation’s most productive farmland. The immigrants included a large number of farmers. They knew what they were doing. (The winter homes in Sarasota came a couple generations later.)

But you have already ripped the past from your life. Why subject yourself to the same cruel winters you just escaped?

James_Gale

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Re: Lutheranism the key to happiness?
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2021, 08:24:06 PM »
Between  1820 and 1925 about 860,000 Norwegians emigrated to the United States.
They settled primarily in the Midwest in states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and
Illinois.

The Swedes and Finns acted similarly. They were coming from countries with awful weather and arriving in a country that was so huge that it included vast swaths of places with more pleasant climates.

Yet they went to places that replicated the cold, hard winters they came from.

What were they thinking?


The upper Midwest is blanketed by some of the nation’s most productive farmland. The immigrants included a large number of farmers. They knew what they were doing. (The winter homes in Sarasota came a couple generations later.)

But you have already ripped the past from your life. Why subject yourself to the same cruel winters you just escaped?


Many, I believe, weren’t that bothered by the winters. There simply wasn’t enough land to go around. The immigrants found in North America what they wanted but could not have at home. No other part of the country matched their experience and farming skills as well as the land they chose.


Some did go elsewhere, of course. But a critical mass did not.