A Swedish politician offered an interesting comparison between the manner in which society integrates immigrants with how dogs and children are raised. Oistein Christoffersen told an interviewer that the integration of immigrants within Swedish society is akin to the manner in which adults train dogs and children regarding the importance of knowing boundaries. “We must take care that those who are here are properly integrated. That includes education in both language and how our society works. It is about setting boundaries and is no different than raising children or dogs.” He agreed that some people might misunderstand his words, but “everyone who has a dog knows what I mean.”
We understand, Mr. Christoffersen, there are dogs that never get potty trained and pee all over the place, and there are immigrants who simply don’t know what urinals are there for in homes or train stations. How could anyone misunderstand the importance of educating immigrants to fit into society and know their place in the greater Swedish nation. Of course, there is a slight possibility that Swedes might actually learn something from immigrants that would alter the manner in which Swedish people think or behave. I hear tell that some of those immigrants actually are better trained in obedience than dogs. By the way, Mr. Chritoffersen, is “training” the nature of education and “boundaries” the goals of critical thinking? Personally, I prefer people who can think outside the boundaries of conventional thinking.