Thursday, February 4, 2010

The beauty of Poikkeustila

During the last weeks, the heavy snowfall has brought both chaos and joy here in Helsinki. Cars are parked (and driven) wherever. People help each other with getting their cars out of the snow. Neighbours talk for the first time. It's all about the snow. But there is something nice about it.

"Poikkeustila" is a Finnish word, which means "state of emergency". The literal translation would be "state of exception". Which actually makes it a, well, better word, because there is no panic involved. It's just an exception - the normal rules temporarily seize to apply for some reason.

Here's the beef: We need more poikkeustila, because it makes people open up and connect. It takes us to this moment. And all of life is a poikkeustila. We need not wait for a catastrophy or even heavy snow to screw the rules and connect and be authentic. And we need not be arrogant or unfriendly or trash places, just because the rules don't apply. Just go for it. Dance your dance. Talk to the neighbour. Kiss the girl.

Btw, here's one of my favourite ads, for many reasons - and it's about poikkeustila.

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