Friday, October 7, 2011

Finland's Baby Box

I saw this and it brought tears to my eyes. In Finland every baby gets just a few essentials from the government. And while I know that I probably wouldn't have needed it, I received 35 green bodysuits at my baby shower from enthusiastic family and friends, the idea of a country and and a culture that starts out every life with a gift is something special. There is much debate about an the American welfare state on one hand, and even if a woman should be able to have an abortion. I can't settle this debate here, but reading about this made me cry.  What if every child entered this life know that everyone was looking out for him or her, and wanted to make sure that their first few months were at least warm and safe?  Even the box it comes in can double as a bassinet.  Its just the basic hospitality that we  could give a new life.  Most of us have friends or families that do that, or at least the wealth the buy the odd blanket or diaper.

I feel like the Finnish people fully expect each infant recipient of this grant to become and law abiding productive member of society, and imagine that there is the belief that it is the child parents that are held most responsible for this. But why not start off with a well thought out gift that says, "Hey, this is what you might need to get started; we're pulling for your success."  I got a letter stating that my insurance company was charged $2,000 for an anesthesiologist that I never saw.  I felt that our system, and my culture were saying, "Congratulations, you had a baby, now its easier for us to scam you.  Now back to work."  I think we can do that a bit better, and make stronger families and healthier happier children in the end. Its not really about being the "nanny state", it's about investing in the lives of one another.

This is what you'd find in the what's called the Maternity Package can be found here.  What did you get from you're society when you had a baby?
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