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Photo : Anette Nantell

I could never describe in words who I am, despite my lifelong career as a journalist and writer. The best bet would be: I am like you or any other human inside. ​

14 years old I went by bike with a friend from my home country Sweden down through Europe to Spain. My main interest was to see if the people I met from different cultures with different languages were like me inside.

I looked behind the surface and discovered that they were. As I am sure you who read this also are.

But what are we? The real me cannot be studied or proved objectively. We can only know it through our own experience, by being in contact with ourselves. It is natural and necessary for feeling whole. In Sweden, the most secular country on earth, it is called the equal value of man. The very foundation of our society.

(The Swedish word for man is “människa” which derives from the ancient Nordic word “menska” which means goodness, generosity.)