…and learn something about a stranger!

After I had written the post to the graduating class of 2018 I thought of one more piece of advice which was missing in Mary Schmich’ essey. This thought came to me while sitting on a tram in Gothenburg, Sweden, watching my co-passangers. On the tram I once again witnessed a phenomenon I have been thinking a lot about while researching first-time parents in the area.

On the Central station tram stop visitors and passengers on their way to the city center get off because it is one of the last stops before the suburbs of Angered and Hammarkullen. This stop is sort of a transitional stop where most (not all) of the middle class white inhabitants get off and first and second generation migrants stay or get on the tram.

This phenomenom is very notisable here because Gothenburg is one of Sweden’s most segregated cities and if you or your parents are not born in Sweden it is very likely that you do not live in the center of Gothenburg even if you would like to.

I believe that the only way to bridge the gap that these segregation social patterns create is to find ways to communicate and build bridges. So my simple first step advice: learn something about a stranger (on the tram) when possible.

I just now IRL found that this is easier said than done. I am new and a stranger to the area of Gothenburg county where I am right now and tried to get some help finding the right bus and no one on the bus stop was willing to help. So I guess my advice would be relevant also for my co-passengers!

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