To say that Norway is colder than Southern California is a no-brainer.
To me, that grew up in a valley where school in winter meant no recess if the temperature dropped beyond -40 F, it should at least be no surprise.
Even so I, I had “forgotten” how much energy, ingenuity, thinking and hard work goes into just going from A to B, when the world is icy, cold, dark and frozen. You do not just zip out for an errand, you plan. You do not just go for a drive, you prepare.
This is a shared handicap for all and easy to spot as we wobble and glide on the icy streets. We manage, somehow. And we expect each other to manage. Which is how it has to be, I guess. There are tools, there are clothes.
But what about the icy conditions that do not show? What about the demands we make of each other without understanding the extra effort it sometimes takes to accomplish the smallest task?
No one has to go hungry in Norway, but a lot of people go without being allowed to take part in what builds society. You will hardly find anybody with a severe disability doing ordinary tasks. It will always be part of some program or other, together with others with challenges. No one will pack your groceries. No one will sweep the parking lot. Does a society that delivers in extreme conditions become hard and unforgiving? Does a community of achievers make it harder for those with less credits to achieve anything?
I do not know. We do take care of each other in Norway. At times though, we are better at making an official survival program than acknowledging the quirky individual survival kits each of us has patched together.