Today’s excerpt will focus on dealing with problems:
23. The unwise man is awake all night,
and ponders everything over;
when morning comes he is weary in mind,
and all is a burden as ever.
This stanza is very personal to me, as it is something I am guilty of doing on a regular basis. A foolish man frets and worries all night over his problems, but in the morning, he is only exhausted and his troubles still remain troubles. This is reflective of what the Vikings perceived as ideal character, one that is not afraid to take his troubles and actually do something about them. Nothing is accomplished from wringing your hands and losing sleep, but by doing something about it, something can be done.
For instance, say that a close friend of yours has betrayed you. Maybe they’ve gone behind your back and said something or done something to damage your reputation, maybe they’ve done something more blatantly obvious than that. You could sit and worry on your own for days about what you should do, going through every possible outcome with microscopic scrutiny. While you do that, the issue will weigh heavily on your conscience, souring any future interactions you may have with this acquaintance and even other people.
Or…you could make up your mind, and do something about it. You could confront them directly about it, hear their side of the story. You could tell them that you are no longer friends. You could do a multitude of things, and all of them will have different and completely unpredictable consequences. But once the deed is done, everybody can begin moving on from the issue, and only then can you achieve some form of closure.
The Havamal can be read in its full and complete text here.
Yours in service,
Lady Mathilde Huldsdotter, AoA