What Nora knows…about expanding your perspective


Nora Verdier

Nora shares her wisdom in her monthly column “What Nora knows.”

Nora Verdier, Staff Writer

Over the holiday break, I traveled to Iceland – which, I must say, is a very interesting place. The people are genuine and the landscape is breathtaking, but what I perhaps noticed the most is the distinctness of its political culture.

As constantly being surrounded by the counterproductive, often regressing whirlwind of American politics, it was refreshing for me to see the accomplishments Iceland has been making, even while other countries have been struggling in their own foreign and domestic messes.

And through observing the revolutionary characteristics of Iceland’s politics, I have realized that it is indispensable for me to widen my perspective and realize that while I may be unhappy with the state of our country at the moment, other countries are greatly progressing.

But before I go on, let me explain: Iceland is the coolest place ever. It has the lowest wage gap in the world. Nearly all of its homes are heated by geothermal energy. It gave us Kaleo and Björk. It has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. The literacy rate is 99 percent. It is the first country to have ever elected a female president. Like I said, it’s the coolest.

And sadly, the United States does not share many of these characteristics. However, it can be seen that Iceland is an excellent model of a well-functioning society that we Americans can use to strengthen our own country.

However, I also believe that there is a fine balance to this cognizance of America’s needed changes. Indeed, I often struggle with feeling depressed over the United States’s many faults that I forget about what is happening in other countries. We get so caught up in our own struggles that we forget to expand our worldly perspectives, and that leads to despondency – which brings us nowhere.

Thus, the solution is to simply glance at what is being accomplished in other countries instead of focusing on the lost hope of our own. A few weeks ago, Iceland created a law that demands businesses to show how much they are paying their male and female employees, and that equal pay for equal work must be utilized.

While I may be morose over what cataclysm has occurred in the White House this week, I have to also realize that overall, we as a group of 7.6 billion human beings, are making progress.

So, to put it short, visiting Iceland reminded me that our world is not completely falling to pieces. Even if we’re unhappy with the state of our nation, there are plenty of other countries proving that overall, the world is moving forward – not backward.