Today I read an article in the Swedish paper Aftonbladet, which stated that Sweden is the best country to live in if you are a mother.
At the bottom of the list was none other than Niger, in terms of insurance, health care, female life expectancy, education, financial inequality between the sexes, parental insurance (or lack of...?), female involvement in politics, child mortality rate etc... (The list was long).
Now, all this is true - and Sweden is really a comfortable place to bring up your children, and yet... there is no place on earth where I would rather raise my children than in Niger!
Material wealth and security in all its honor, but the difference - for me - between Niger and Sweden is that in Niger, I have time. Time to think, time to spend with others, time to inspire and figure out what life is really about. Though I would probably be so much more efficient if I lived the rest of my days in Sweden, I never really feel as if I am "alive". Life in Sweden is so much about work, work and work. My tinnitus goes up, my neck muscles ache and my dizziness increases and I know it's only from the mental stress that I create in my mind.
So despite what the papers say, my choice is Niger. I am Swedish and I enjoy meeting all my friends and relatives there - and Niger is truly at times one of the most awkward places on earth, but there is a very special sincerity to it that I find precious and rare, and which I would like to pass on to my own children on day.
Now your turn!