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What I’ve learned from Austria

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Today is Austria’s national day and I wanted to write something about the special nice things and the people of this little country – kind of like you do when you go to someone’s birthday and hold a toast.

In real life, I often complain and protest about a lot of things, most of them regarding my new home country. Despite the yammering I have to admit that I am positive that there is little places on earth where life is actually as peaceful and as plain-and-simple ‘good’ as it is here.

Coming from a country  still in search of its values, Romania, it took me a while and some struggling to understand that the Austrians really seem to get what society and life in general is all about.
Yes, they have all shops closed on Sunday – this in a country where 1/3 of the population takes pride in being atheists – and yes, they do not dance at parties and use the phrase „kein Stress” too often being sometimes a little too laid back, they usually keep a polite distance in the conversation that I am still a little uncomfortable with but they seem to have understood the bigger picture, the picture that many  of us are still struggling to get…

 

Here are some valuable life lessons that I’ve learned from the Austrian people and that we all could apply to improve our lives:

 

  • & Austrians genuinely want things to work-probably like every other human being as well, first of  all for their own good – but what they understood is that it can only work if they try to make it better for “all” or at least  for most of the people around them.
  • & Austrians pay attention to others and their needs because they want the same in return.
  • & Austrians do not have to compulsively own big fancy homes and big fancy cars but instead they enjoy the freedom that the life without ‘big possessions’ gives them.
  • & Austrians travel a lot but do not  necessarily book luxury hotels, so that they really end up seeing some of the actual countries they went to visit.
  • & Austrians are modest in their clothing and attitude because they probably believe that flashiness would only take one’s eyes away from the really important things in a person.
  • & Austrians preserve their old traditions and embrace traces of new and intercultural without losing the sense of who they are.
  • & Austrians respect education even more than work itself and they make it easy for people to have access to it.
  • & Austrians respect their jobs and obligations because they understand if they wouldn’t, all the good things above would slowly stop working.
  • & Austrians enjoy nature, a lot of free time and most of all thinking.

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They are mostly still a mystery for me but until now one of my most valuable life lesson.


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