Citizenship between victimhood and demands
When can you say that a person has ‘succeeded’ in Sweden? Is it just about getting a job and your own home, or the ‘Swedish dream’, villa, “vovve”, Volvo? Becoming a rich entrepreneur that the newspapers write about? The ‘successful immigrant’ has been both an ideal and a myth, but the question is, how do you get there?
The theme ‘the successful immigrant’ has been a favorite theme of both the political right and the left. A person, or family, who has come here and managed to build an admirable existence in the new country. But you rarely ask about the way there. How were these goals achieved? Yes, those who have achieved a comfortable life here have worked hard and been diligent, but with or against what odds? It’s not something you hear about often.
The truth may be that these victories are costly and conquered against all odds. The ‘successful immigrant’ has often been squeezed between both the left’s perception of the immigrant’s perpetual victimhood and permanent need for social support and the right’s periodic skepticism about the immigrant’s abilities or cultural customs. Those who want to stand on their own two feet must often balance between these obstacles and endure many trials before the goal, to be a free, independent, but contributing, human being, is reached. Then you have won, but not necessarily thanks to society.
Citizenship is a key term to be able to gather around. This indicates that the holder has committed himself to the country and the people in which the person lives. It encourages the bearer to contribute as well as to protect. It transcends both culture and class and is a testament to belonging. When demands for adaptation are made, the question becomes, adaptation to what? As citizens, we have the same rights and obligations that we agree on, even though we may not agree on each other’s lifestyles, but it is a right in this country not to have to do so.
Two different people should know that they have certain things in common despite different lifestyles, cultures or backgrounds. The importance of citizenship is something that needs to be emphasized in all contexts. To succeed, hard work is required, a lot of skin on the nose and also the tolerance that must be included in citizenship. The rights do not necessarily outweigh the obligations, and help must be available as well as given. Diligence, hard work and responsibility must always pay off, and citizenship must be a contributing inspiration to this. In the Sweden we see now, it is needed more than ever.