Hygge

Hygge pronounced “heurgha” is the latest Scandi craze which you cannot have missed reading about recently.  There are now a host of books in English telling you how to achieve it.  The word is hard to translate and define but seems to mean, as far I can see, a sort of personal wellbeing and taking pleasure in simple things.   Examples I have read about include lighting candles,  sitting by the fire and having friends around for a meal.  Denmark is the happiest country in the world and many people put this down to Hygge. Given all that has happened in 2016, IS, terrorism, Brexit and Trump collectively we need all the Hygge we can get.  And on a personal basis I need it as well.  2016 has been a very mixed year for me too.

Hygge for Christians does led to some questions though.  I don’t think there is a mystical element to it that should concern us.  The bigger problem is that of self interest.  The danger is you are concentrating on your own wellbeing rather than that of others by going for excessive amounts of me time.  The bible tells us that others interests are as important as ours (for example think of the story of the good Samaritan).  If you closet yourself away in front of the fire (big Hygge for me) all the time and go into denial about the outside world then this in my view would be wrong.

On the plus side in principle many of the Hygge ideas are fairly cheap or even non materialistic and many involve interaction with other people (even if they may be friends).  So a mixed issue then for Hygge but as long as its not taken to extremes of introspection its probably helpful and fits in with a low carbon world.

Neil

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