A-hum! Now that I have your attention, here’s my not-so-juicy true confession: I don’t have a ha-ha funny blog this week. Not because I’ve been lazy or because I’m feeling sad. Instead, I’ve just been immersed in two back-to-back writing conferences, and like most of you, watching election returns non-stop.
But while I don’t have a blog this week, I do have an election-appropriate word to share and it is, as they say, a humdinger! The word is samfundssind.
It’s Danish and means “putting the concern of society higher than one’s own interests.” More loosely translated it means “community spirit” or “social mindedness.”
Fresh on the heels of a tough national election, I think we needs a little, actually a lot of, samfundssind.
A divided Congress is definitely going to need it to make policies to help us address economic and racial injustice.
Citizens are going to need it to help address the coronavirus crisis that continues to spiral out of control.
In fact, samfundssind already has become the buzzword of the coronavirus crisis in Denmark. Just as the virus was surfacing, a search of Danish news by a language council found that usage of the word increased from 23 times in February to 2,855 in March!
Samfundssind for All!
So, what do you say, my fellow muddling middle-agers? We may not be able to pronounce it correctly, but we can certainly get into the spirit of the word — or to paraphrase my weary mother when speaking/shouting to me and my battling siblings and friends — why don’t we all just get along?”
For my part, I’m going to take a break from reading social media posts about politics and I’m going to stop trying to figure out why some people hold different political views than my own. I am indeed going to try to get along!
True Confession Endnotes
And if I’ve whet your appetite for things Danish (besides buttery morning pastry), here’s a non-caloric treat — Borgen on Netflix, a fictional drama about a shocking turn of events that lands a woman in the prime minister’s seat as Denmark’s first female leader.
Also, I promise to put my funny thinking cap back on and return with more light laments for women (and men) of a certain age! Meanwhile, muddle and samfundssind on!