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Finland and Sweden’s historic NATO bids, explained

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Finland and Sweden are seeking membership to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a historic shift for two traditionally non-aligned countries and a major expansion of the Western alliance as war continues in Europe.

Leaders from Sweden and Finland said Tuesday they will officially turn in their NATO applications together on Wednesday. They will then head to Washington to meet with President Joe Biden, as the US makes a show of support for their bids.

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“Sweden’s and Finland’s NATO membership would enhance not only our own security, but also that of the whole alliance,” Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö, said Tuesday, in an address to the Swedish parliament.

“We are taking these historic steps in the shadow of a brutal war,” he added.

This is a dramatic turn for two countries that have defined their geopolitical identities around nonalignment — Finland, for decades, and Sweden for two centuries. After resisting NATO membership for so long, Russia’s invasion forced Finland and Sweden to reconsider their security interests, and see ascension as a deterrent to future Russian aggression.

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“This is pretty monumental,” said Katherine Kjellström Elgin, a fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. “It’s a fundamental change to the European alliance structure.”

Finland and Sweden already closely cooperate with NATO but had eschewed formal membership, a stance that worked both politically and strategically. But Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine changed everything.

“Popular opinion, and the way Finnish political decision-makers see this, turned around very rapidly after Russia attacked Ukraine in February,” said Janne Kuusela, director of defense policy at the Finland Ministry of Defense. “It changed dramatically the security situation in Europe, and the way most Finns see how we best take care of our own defense and security, and how we contribute to the overall stability in northeastern Europe.”

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That swing in public opinion — there is now majority support for joining NATO in both Finland and Sweden — reflected a broader awakening that the status quo with Russia would not hold. Finland felt the shock most abruptly because of its geography (it shares an 800-mile border with Russia) and its history. Joonas Könttä, a member of parliament from Finland’s Center Party who serves on the defense committee, said the common memory of the Soviet Union’s attack on Finland in 1939 led to a logical answer: “Finns realized that it could happen to us.”

Finland’s resolve is, in some ways, pulling Sweden along with it, which was a bit more politically divided on the issue, and reckoned more deeply with its longstanding tradition of nonalignment. “We will never have this sense of urgency, in the same way as Finland because of its history, its proximity to Russia,” said Anna Wieslander, the Stockholm-based director for Northern Europe at the Atlantic Council.

But Sweden and Finland’s close partnership means they will likely move in lockstep. NATO and its members are expected to openly welcome them (with a potential hiccup or two). There is also a sense of urgency. Finland and Sweden are not formally protected by NATO’s mutual defense guarantees until they are actually in the pact.

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Russia, of course, is not thrilled. Moscow has repeatedly warned against NATO membership once it became clear these two were on the path toward it. On Thursday, Russia’s foreign ministry said that Helsinki must be aware of the “consequences” of its move, and Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov threatened a “corresponding symmetrical response.” Russia’s struggles in Ukraine, among other factors, make any sort of military threat against Finland or Sweden unlikely, though experts and officials believe other types of hybrid warfare are possible, like disinformation campaigns or cyberattacks.

But Finland and Sweden’s prospective NATO membership is ultimately a defeat for Putin. The war in Ukraine is about more than NATO expansion, but if Putin sought to curtail the alliance’s influence in Europe, he has only managed to broaden and deepen it. Or as Finnish President Niinistö said Wednesday, when asked how Putin would respond to his country’s NATO decision: “You caused this — look at the mirror.”

When two nonaligned countries stop being polite and start getting real(ly into NATO)

Sweden and Finland joined the European Union in the post-Cold War 1990s, but continued to embrace a policy of military nonalignment. That is, no official NATO membership.

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Sweden has practiced a version of nonalignment since the 19th century. Finland’s story is a bit more complicated. The then-Soviet Union invaded Finland in 1939, and while the Finns fended off a full-on takeover in the Winter War, the threat from their neighbor persisted. That forced Finland to adopt a stance of nonalignment during the Cold War, although with quite a lot of Soviet meddling and domestic political influence.

Finland has since maintained nonalignment out of pragmatism. It shares an 800-mile border with Russia, and the two governments maintained neighborly relationships, even as it invested very seriously in its defense, including maintaining a conscription army.

Especially in recent years, Finland and Sweden have become strong partners with NATO — they are basically as close as a country can get to the alliance without formally being in it. They do military exercises together and share some intelligence; both Sweden and Finland supported NATO’s mission in Afghanistan. And NATO’s open door remained, well, open to Sweden and Finland, but was not something either had to pursue unless the security situation in Europe drastically shifted. Which is exactly what happened when Russia began threatening Ukraine.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson exchange files as they sign a security assurance, in Harpsund, Sweden, on May 11. Johnson visited Sweden and Finland ahead of their decision on whether to apply for NATO membership.
Frank Augstein/WPA/Getty Images

 

Last December, as Russia built up troops along Ukraine’s border, Moscow issued ultimatums that sought to remake the European security architecture — demands like no NATO enlargement, and a Russian sphere of influence. That rattled Sweden, but it really shook Finland. Wieslander, of the Atlantic Council, said, for Finland’s leaders, it was a reminder of the very limited space Finland had to operate during the Cold War, both internationally and domestically. Moscow’s demands created this “feeling that Finland’s road to be part of the West could not be jeopardized, and that the informal position that Finland could have in relation to NATO was not strong enough.”

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That kicked off the soul-searching in Helsinki; Russia’s Ukraine invasion delivered the shock. In Finland, support for NATO typically hovered in the 20 or so percent range. In January 2022, less than 30 percent of the Finnish public was in favor of NATO membership. After Russia’s invasion, it rose 53 percent, to an incredible 76 percent in May.

As extraordinary as the swings in public opinion were, Finland’s already close ties with the West and with NATO helped make the possibility of membership more palatable. “It’s still much more an evolution rather than revolution, in a way, the attitude towards NATO,” said Sinikukka Saari, a leading researcher on Russia at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.

Finland and Sweden, as EU members, joined the strong sanctions against Russia, and both sent military equipment to Ukraine. They were united with the West, except actually being part of NATO, and after Russia’s invasion, it exposed a vulnerability, especially for Finland.

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In Sweden, experts said, the calculus is a bit more complicated. Support for joining NATO has jumped by double digits since January to about 57 percent, according to April polls. But the backing does not yet appear to be as dramatic as in Finland. Sweden holds tightly to a perception of itself as a neutral country, an identity it has preserved throughout major conflicts in Europe, including two World Wars and the Cold War. “The decision not to join NATO for Sweden, more so than Finland, was rooted in the neutral, nonaligned identity,” Elgin said.

The Social Democrats, who run Sweden’s minority government, have traditionally been opposed to NATO membership; it’s a position they reiterated in November. In March, Prime Minister Andersson rejected the opposition’s calls to join NATO, saying it would destabilize Europe even more. She only proposed reviewing the security situation last month, leading up to Sunday’s about-face. The Green and Left parties are still opposed. Sweden’s right-leaning opposition parties have tended to be more supportive of NATO membership, and are backing a current bid. Adding to the tension are national elections in September. “The question about NATO membership has been deeply polarized between the parties,” Wieslander said, adding that has slowed the debate, even if Sweden ultimately ended up in the same place as Finland.

Finland and Sweden’s strong bilateral partnership almost guarantees neither would make a move if they thought the other would balk. “I would stress that we are doing this together,“ said Erkki Tuomioja, a Social Democrat in the Finnish Parliament, who previously served as a foreign affairs minister.

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Finland’s push for NATO membership was also a process. Könttä, who is on the defense committee, said when he ran for Parliament he stated Finland had no need to join the alliance. In December, he began privately reassessing his views. In March, he announced his change of position.

Tuomioja, meanwhile, said that he would support Finland’s NATO path, but he still is somewhat skeptical. He said he would have liked to consider other options, but in the public, and in parliament, NATO is seen as the strongest security guarantee.

“Whether or not you think this is the best idea to join NATO,” he said, “it’s always better that Sweden and Finland do things together.”

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What does this mean for NATO? And everyone else?

There’s another benefit of Finland and Sweden going in together: It reduces some of the risk of announcing you’re going to be in NATO.

The risks lie largely in how Russia reacts. Moscow has already threatened Sweden and Finland over NATO membership. On Saturday, the Kremlin’s press service said Putin had told the Finnish President Niinistö that abandoning its nonalignment would be an “an error since there are no threats to Finland’s security.” On Monday, Putin seemed to accept the inevitable by saying Russia has no problems with Finland and Sweden, and so “in this sense there is no immediate threat to Russia from an expansion to include these countries.” Still, Putin warned that the expansion of military infrastructure there “would certainly provoke our response,” according to Reuters.

Putin has blamed the West for the war in Ukraine, and NATO’s likely expansion — along those 800 miles at Russia’s border — certainly plays into that narrative. “If Finland and Sweden actually also joined NATO, then that will just be a detail that somehow proves that the Russians were right,” said Martin Hurt, a research fellow at the International Centre for Defense and Security and a former Estonian defense official. “But the rest will still be made up of lies and disinformation.”

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Even so, Finland’s or Sweden’s NATO membership likely would not resonate for Putin the same way as, say, an ascension of a former Soviet republic. Finland may sting a bit more, but as an EU member and NATO partner, Moscow likely already sees them as tied to the West. . “Russia will see Finland’s NATO membership as some sort of defeat and betrayal, but it is or should be much easier to accept than what was for example the membership of the Baltic states in the alliance,” Tuomas Forsberg, an international relations expert and the director of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, wrote in an email.

It seems like if you’re going to join a military alliance the Kremlin sees as an existential threat, you should do it while Russia’s military is bogged down in a protracted war in Ukraine. Still, there is no doubt that Finland and Sweden are at their most vulnerable right after they announce their NATO intention but lack its formal protections. “There is a general feeling that this kind of gray period should be kept as short as possible,” Saari said.

NATO will likely make an effort to keep that window as short as possible, though the timeline is still a little bit fuzzy. Of recent ascensions, it took Montenegro 18 months, but there’s a general expectation that Finland and Sweden will proceed even more rapidly. Andersson said Monday that Sweden expects “it shouldn’t take more than a year.”

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Both meet the political criteria, as strong, established democracies, and the close cooperation with NATO means they already have a high level of interoperability — military speak for their systems and tactics being in sync. “In that sense, there’s very little of a delta that they have to step up to achieve,” said Steven Horrell, a nonresident senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis. Finland already spends close to the 2 percent on its military that NATO targets for its members, and Sweden already planned to increase its military spending over the next decade.

NATO members, even before Russia’s war, made it pretty clear that if Finland and Sweden wanted in, NATO would eagerly have them. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement Thursday that should Finland apply, “they will be warmly welcomed.”

Still, each NATO member does have to approve the bids, and some countries, like Turkey, are trying to use this moment to advance their own demands. But this is likely more grandstanding than actual opposition, and officials are likely to quietly hammer out any disagreements. US and NATO officials have indicated that all members are ultimately expected to back their ascension.

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In the meantime, NATO and its members are offering some assurances during the application period. A White House spokesperson told Vox the US is “confident that we could find ways to address any concerns either country may have about the period of time between a NATO membership application and their formal accession to the Alliance.” The United Kingdom offered more formalized security guarantees this week.

Finland and Sweden’s ascension to NATO will also likely reshape the alliance, even in subtle ways. Inclusion of Finland and Sweden will transform how it does its military planning in the Nordic, Arctic, and Baltic regions. NATO will expand its boundary with Russia, accessing a new front from which to pressure Russia, but also one it is now obligated to protect.

NATO still faces some very real strategic challenges, with or without new members. But Finnish and Swedish membership is politically symbolic for the alliance. “Putin talked before this third invasion of Ukraine about redrawing the global security architecture,” Horrell said. “And, well, that’s one thing he’s achieved, but I think not quite the way he wanted to.”

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Update, May 17, 2022: Updated to reflect Sweden and Finland’s plans to submit NATO applications.

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Una propuesta de perforación costa afuera de la administración Biden permitiría hasta 11 ventas

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Un hombre lleva una marca en la cara mientras pesca cerca de las plataformas de perforación petrolera atracadas, el viernes 8 de mayo de 2020, en Port Aransas, Texas.
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Los pasajeros de las aerolíneas llegan al Aeropuerto Internacional Midway de Chicago el viernes, primer día del fin de semana feriado del 4 de julio.
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35 veces en las que se descubrió que la gente estaba completamente equivocada

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35 veces en las que se descubrió que la gente estaba completamente equivocada

Nuestros defectos no nos definen. Es la forma en que reaccionamos ante ellos lo que nos moldea tanto a nosotros mismos como a los ojos de otras personas. Sin embargo, como podemos ver en el subreddit ‘Mildly Infuriating’, no todos están dispuestos o son capaces de entender eso.

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Como recordará de nuestras publicaciones anteriores, como esta, esta comunidad en línea con 4,4 millones de miembros tiene mucho contenido para hacer hervir su sangre a fuego lento en cuestión de segundos, pero hay una categoría especial que nosotros en panda aburrido Creo que merece un artículo propio: gente que no acepta que está equivocada.

Ya sea que se trate de alguien que intenta estafar a otra persona con unos cuantos dólares o simplemente abrazando su frágil ego, continúe desplazándose para ver a los personajes que se ganaron la etiqueta de ‘ligeramente exasperante’.

# 1 tratando de conocer gente… apesta

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Créditos de la imagen: Devilslettucesalad

#2 Cómo no comprarle una computadora a alguien…

Créditos de la imagen: HyperPickle9

Para obtener más información sobre cómo mantenerse fuera de dichas listas y qué hacer para mantenerse conectado a tierra, nos comunicamos con el Dr. Mike Brooks, un psicólogo licenciado con sede en Austin, Texas, y autor de ‘Generación tecnológica: criar niños equilibrados en un mundo hiperconectado.’

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«Un propósito en la vida es aprender, crecer y mejorar. No podemos hacer esto a menos que primero reconozcamos y admitamos nuestros errores», dijo el Dr. Brooks. panda aburrido. “Debemos recordarnos que ‘errar es humano’, y estamos cumpliendo un propósito en la vida cada vez que admitimos nuestros errores. Por lo tanto, desde esta perspectiva, los errores son oportunidades de crecimiento que nos permiten cumplir el propósito de la vida. el subproducto natural del crecimiento y la mejora son mayores niveles de felicidad».

#3 Cómo no vender un auto…

Créditos de la imagen: Dinkleburt

# 4 fuera de un cine en Oklahoma

Créditos de la imagen: Aliento espiritual-139

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# 5 Hamburguesa con queso menos el queso = ¿hamburguesa con queso?

Créditos de imagen: Mr_Legend2006

El Dr. Brooks dijo que negarse a reconocer y admitir nuestros errores cuando nos equivocamos obstaculiza nuestro crecimiento y nos ahoga en la falta de armonía. «Esto también aumenta las posibilidades de que nosotros y otros suframos porque cuando no aprendemos de nuestros errores, es más probable que los repitamos».

“Cuando no admitimos cuando nos equivocamos, creamos rupturas en nuestras relaciones, que son la fuente misma de nuestra propia felicidad. En esencia, nos disparamos a nosotros mismos en el pie”, explicó la psicóloga.

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«Cuando se trata de relaciones, en particular, es mejor ser efectivo que tener razón».

#6 Mi arrendador ingresó a mi apartamento sin previo aviso (ilegal) para decirme que limpiara mi filtro de pelusas

Créditos de la imagen: kiddo-l

#7 Personas que piensan que mi carrera es un ‘pasatiempo’

Créditos de la imagen: rockpaperpowerfist

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#8 Supongo que el 5% no fue suficiente

Créditos de la imagen: De lo contrario_Quiet2324

#9 Kanye West en The Bape Store, 2005. Se probó todos los zapatos y no compró ninguno

Créditos de la imagen: SnooShortcuts3641

Algunas personas, sin embargo, parecen completamente incapaces de admitir sus errores. Por ejemplo, el Dr. Brooks destacó que las guerras se han cobrado millones de vidas, pero los que están en el poder aún no han admitido que podrían haber cambiado de rumbo y evitarlo.

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«Las personas tienen problemas para admitir que están equivocadas por muchas razones, pero una de las principales tiene que ver con el ego y el apego. Cuando vinculamos nuestro sentido de identidad a una posición mental y adoptamos la postura ‘Tengo razón’, se convierte en parte de nuestra identidad, parte de nuestro ego».

«‘Tengo razón’ es casi como decir, ‘Soy Mike’ o como te llames. Ahora, mi ego, o sentido de identidad, se ha apegado a una posición mental. Una supervivencia primitiva de ‘lucha/huida/congelación’ Se activa un mecanismo para defender mi ‘corrección’ como si estuviera defendiendo mi propia vida. Es como si una pequeña parte de mí se muriera si tuviera que admitir que estoy equivocado», dijo el psicólogo.

# 10 El hotel se queda con mi depósito porque dejé una mala crítica en Booking.com

Créditos de imagen: coreybeavers1999

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# 11 IF * cking Proyectos de grupos de odio

Créditos de la imagen: Incognito_Tomato

# 12 4 lugares en un Home Depot

Créditos de la imagen: RAB806

#13 Regla de oficina

Créditos de la imagen: Jaded-Dot-5239

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«[If that turns out to be the case, I] Siento que estoy disminuido, en cierto modo, y tú, la persona de ‘derecha’, ahora eres superior a mí. Esto es realmente difícil de aceptar para mi ego, así que me defiendo. [and] mi ‘rectitud’, a toda costa. Incluso cuando esto causa un gran sufrimiento», continuó el Dr. Brooks.

«El sufrimiento de admitir que me equivoco es peor que las consecuencias que se derivan de no admitir que me equivoco, al menos en mi cabeza. Esta perspectiva, que está inspirada en la psicología budista, es un ejemplo de por qué varios apegos a menudo son en la raíz del sufrimiento».

# 14 Correo electrónico que recibí de un padre después de que su hijo no completó dos tareas en la Unidad de la Guerra Civil de Apush

Créditos de imagen: thewrestlingnord

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#15 Supongo que no habrá entretenimiento para mi esposa en este vuelo…

Créditos de la imagen: sombrío

# 16 Lo estuve viendo durante casi 2 meses antes de que me enterara. Le envió este mensaje antes de contarle todo a su prometido

Créditos de la imagen: Carrotcutie69

#17 Estuve en el hospital una semana con mi madre y finalmente saldré hoy y mi madre publicó una captura de pantalla de mi laboratorio de análisis de sangre de esta mañana en Facebook porque cree que aún no debería recibir el alta

Créditos de imagen: TheCodexPlays

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Curiosamente, la autoconciencia también nos permite tomar mejores decisiones. En un estudio, los estudiantes que obtuvieron puntajes más altos en «conciencia metacognitiva» (la capacidad de reflexionar sobre pensamientos, sentimientos, actitudes y creencias personales) tomaron decisiones más efectivas cuando se trataba de jugar un juego de computadora en el que tenían que diagnosticar y tratar pacientes Los autores de la investigación argumentaron que esto se debía a que podían establecer metas más definidas y realizar acciones estratégicas.

# 18 Un negocio en Maine tenía esto en su ventana este domingo

Créditos de la imagen: modo bestiaChadF13

# 19 Esto me parece más divertido, pero las críticas están plagadas de personas que dicen que el personal es grosero y que Dosnet hace su trabajo, mientras que la cuenta del propietario hace comentarios chispeantes. Lol

Créditos de imagen: Upset_Force66

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# 20 ¿Es hora de pudín?

Créditos de la imagen: Gran Cheshire

#21 ¿Por qué existen este tipo de propietarios?

Créditos de imagen: tobleronefanatic123

«Este mundo a menudo loco e hiperconectado se mueve a un ritmo vertiginoso. Nuestra evolución tecnológica está superando nuestra evolución biológica, [and] no podemos adaptarnos lo suficientemente rápido a los cambios que están ocurriendo», dijo el Dr. Brooks.

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«En el ajetreo y el bullicio de este mundo, debemos trabajar duro para sacar tiempo para desconectarnos, reducir la velocidad y conectarnos más con la vida y el mundo que nos rodea. Necesitamos establecer límites y límites razonables en torno a nuestro uso de la tecnología en particular y encontrar algunos momentos tranquilos que permitan la autorreflexión».

# 22 No hay correlación entre el helado y esto

Créditos de la imagen: Odd-Instruction-359

# 23 Esta mujer estuvo así durante horas haciendo que la gente la pasara por encima. Hasta que una azafata finalmente hizo su movimiento

Créditos de la imagen: jugador pesado

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#24 ¿Qué tal? No sé por qué esto me enoja tanto

Créditos de imagen: The_Unknown_Dead

# 25 Me ofrecí a tomarle fotos de la cabeza y el cuerpo gratis para enviarlas a una agencia de modelos. No quería conducir todo el camino hasta su casa o pagar el estacionamiento…

Créditos de la imagen: omar2134

Según la psicóloga, deberíamos «reflexionar sobre lo que nos ha ayudado en el pasado para recargar las pilas y sentirnos más centrados».

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«Debemos sacar tiempo para lo que nos ha ayudado en el pasado todos los días. No podemos esperar a que este tiempo de autocuidado aparezca de repente en nuestras apretadas agendas. Conectar más con la naturaleza es una de las mejores maneras de crear espacio para autorreflexión. Cuando aquietamos nuestras mentes y nos conectamos con algo más grande que nosotros mismos, esto puede, irónicamente, proporcionar el espacio interior para encontrarnos a nosotros mismos «, dijo el Dr. Brooks.

# 26 Cuando mi vecino en el edificio me acusó de mentir …

Créditos de imagen: YourInfidelityInMe

# 27 Nuestro repartidor mordió la bolsa, le dio un pequeño mordisco y se fue

Créditos de la imagen: yehonatanhersh

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#28 Abuela aprobando las habilidades artísticas de su nieto

Créditos de la imagen: BigfootDynamite

# 29 Llevé a un miembro de la familia a la UCI por problemas relacionados con sustancias que amenazan la vida. Después de obtener información adicional de mí sobre ese miembro de la familia, el enfermero (masculino) obtuvo mi número como contacto de emergencia y ha estado explotando mi teléfono todo el día

Créditos de la imagen: BijinRising

La vida no examinada no vale la pena vivirla, dijo el filósofo griego Sócrates, reflexionando sobre la expresión «Conócete a ti mismo», un aforismo inscrito en el templo de Apolo en Delfos, uno de los máximos logros de la antigua Grecia.

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#30 El tipo que dice que 1,1 millones de dólares al año no es mucho dinero y se queja de que ya no puede pagarle a la gente 12 dólares la hora

Créditos de imagen: reanudación óptima

# 31 Entonces, ¿por qué aceptaste su solicitud de amistad de Facebook en primer lugar?

Créditos de imagen: Some-Cut-4530

# 32 Ya es difícil encontrar un lugar sin un imbécil tomando dos

Créditos de la imagen: RAF1GAMEGAME

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# 33 Vi esto publicado y noté una contradicción flagrante

Créditos de la imagen: Maeglin16

# 34 Una tarde que recibí de alguien solo porque compartí mi perspectiva / no estaba de acuerdo con ellos. Las personas condescendientes realmente me irritan

Créditos de la imagen: jupiter565

#35 El empleador me negó un día libre recurrente por semana que coincide con el día libre recurrente de mi novia

Créditos de la imagen: tarfu51

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