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Work-Life Balance in Finland: Americans on a Different Planet

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From three weeks of paid paternity leave to free health care to free higher education, I feel as if I’ve moved to a different planet. But these social policies, although generous, aren’t the things that have most impressed me about living in Finland.

More than anything else, I’ve been refreshed by the Finnish approach to balancing the demands of work and life. Finns work hard, but they work within limits and pace themselves.

American Burnout

My teaching superheroes have always been the teachers who live in their classrooms; they’re the first ones at school and the last ones to leave. I’ve spent most of my career trying to imitate them. But now that I’m in Finland, my idea of the teaching superhero has changed dramatically

"From three weeks of paid paternity leave to free health care to free higher education"Am I allowed to say same goes with France? ; )

Also "free" is relative to what you earn, because you pay it in your taxes, it comes from somewhere. : )

That's a good point, Oce.

And of course you're allowed to say the same goes with France.

America could learn a lot from what is working well in Europe.

Work-life balance is for people who aren't entrepreneurs, don't think their work contribution has meaning or aren't trying to do something to change the world for the better.   Innovative people don't want to subsist.  They want to thrive.   Take control of your own life versus some modest benefit someone else might give you. 

That's one nice balanced opinion Gregory.

Some people might think that it's not worth working hard, if you don't have a life after the work. Some other people also think living is more important than working.

For example, some preserved native American societies in Amazon forest, only work if they need to. They need food? They go hunting and gardening. They have plenty of food, and houses are in good shape? They just have fun, play and produce arts.

They live first and work only if they need to.I will try to find the documentary about them if you're interested, but the one I remember is in French.

Some people want to work as much as possible, others as little as possible.

That documentary does sound interesting.

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