civility and a stapler


I told already about the reserved character of the Finnish people and my impressions after jumping from Asia and being back here. But what about civility? Here I believe this country can give lessons to many others. Here’s a small example. Every morning I go to the University to work on my dissertation. I arrive at the main entrance. Lock my bicycle. Enter the main lobby. Get to the right to take the stairs to the lower floor. Next to these stairs there are several PCs used by students to check emails, few photocopy machines and a round black table with a stapler. A simple office stapler, on the table for the students to staple photocopies or PC print outs. The weirs thing to me is that the staple is there and is not attached to a chain or a lock or anything to prevent it to be stolen. It is just there, on the table. In the lobby where hundreds of students walk in and out every day. I cannot prove it, but I believe that the same stapler would not last more than five or ten minutes is this would be an Italian University. This is just a small example, but I thinks it tells a lot about the sense of civility that Finnish people feel and have. A sense of civility and also of responsibility that makes the stapler to stay there where it is, up to the efficiency in public offices and of the national administration. Some may say this is a small country with few people. But I think there is more than that and more importantly there is a lot to learn.