Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Saving community in Finland

With the rise of self-interest first as a primary focus in business and governmental affairs, it's difficult to figure out where the idea of "community" is headed. Is it headed toward stark nationalism and regionalism or is there a way that citizens can fulfill their personal needs in ways that protect and even deepen a sense of community?

Finland's national library in Helsinki is bucking isolation by providing a facility "to bring people together and raise them up educationally and culturally." Helsinki's Executive Director for Culture and Leisure calls the library a "citizenship factory." Faced with the choices of slipping further into "racism, separatism and fear" Fins chose to "...buck it, doubling down on universalism and inclusion by building a monument to the idea that everybody is worth respect."

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