Is there a link between our everyday noise from politics, that we think we can ignore, – and the way we live our life? And should there be one? And if so – is this a Good Thing? Our random Interview at the Triple Chocolate retail store in Halmstad, Sweden, is a bell – weather of our time.
Tricky questions, all of them. And not so much because we cannot answer them, but because we underestimate the damage that continual negative political news can have on us. We are so used to bad new surrounding us, that we have grown used to it.
But on the other hand – at what point do we as individuals say to ourselves; “enough is enough”. That the arrogance, corruption, lack of concern, happy abandon of ethics shown by politicians for the people they are supposed to lead – drives us quietly to a point where we stand our moral ground and stand up for our basic human values?
Tricky stuff indeed. Or maybe not.
Perhaps the alternative view is the more concerning, – that we are all so immersed in the non stop unhappiness of news broadcasts and hypocrisy of our politicians, that we really are immune to it all. We just carry on our individual lives. We cannot do anything. We do not need to do anything. Concerning, because if we are not affected by these daily broadcasts, then indeed we will not mind that we are losing our barometer of right and wrong, good and bad, ethical or corrupt, of democracy or dictatorship.
Hardly a discussion for the corner shop. Or again, maybe not.
Susanne steps into her sales area behind the counter at the Triple Chocolate retail shop. It is situated in the high street, a narrow lane between narrow houses, each pastel decorated, in the seaside town of Halmstad in Sweden. It is a boutique compact counter, full of trays of artisan chocolates. The chocolates are all individual specialities, they are works of love and care. I point to a small box of items, which are in a tastefully decorated box, tied with a ribbon. Hardly a centre of political activity.
“I’ll have those”, I say.
Susanne is not listening. She arrives with a small bunch of yellow roses, and puts them on the counter.
“Ok, … I’ll have those too”, I say.
“No, – no!” Susanne cries. “The roses are for everybody. They make the shop look nice”. Yes, I know that – it was a simple moment of humour, and we both laugh. And then we get talking. We have never met each other before.
“ I am not voting this week”, she says. It is the Swedish national elections in a week or so. “It really makes no difference who I go for, because we are a 50/50 population, whoever wins cannot deliver for the other half of the population. And for that reason, the promises are never fulfilled”. Gosh, we are in difficult territory now.
But the ambience has subtly changed. It is a recognition that despite the lovely little shop, the nice arrangements, the care shown – it is not extended into being able to make a difference for the people as a whole. The most she can do, is put out a nice vase of flowers.
It is a negative position, and wholly understandable, and misses the point. For two reasons; because, if you care enough to display some beautiful flowers, then by definition you are caring about humanity and its values, it is on display. And if you care enough, somebody by happenstance, will also see, and also care.
Susanne laughs a little. The fact is, the care about bijoux chocolates is the symbol of care for society. “You just have to have faith”, I conclude.
I walk towards my hotel, and call my wife, I have an idea; “do you fancy some chocolates?”, I ask.
“Oh, I just love some chocolates” she happily responds. Sure, the constant flow of negativity of our media and surrounding content, does indeed affect the motivation of our life. But there are deeper values at play here, that sometimes we forget are part of our routine, and that can restore our morale.
Morale indeed. Have faith, and eat chocolate.
Triple Chocolate can be contacted on +4635122444