Friday, August 14, 2015

Stanza 71

daiy 71 featuredThe Hávamál is one of the poems of the Poetic Edda.  It sets out a set of guidelines for wise living and survival.  The Hávamál consists of a number of poems, which shift in tone and tenor and narrative position.  Numerous English translations exist of the text.
Stanza 71

Original -
Haltr ríðr hrossi
hjörð rekr handarvanr
daufr vegr ok dugir
blindr er betri
en brenndr sé
nýtr manngi nás

Translation -
The lame man can ride,
the handless man can
still herd the sheep,
the deaf man can be
a fierce warrior,
better to be blind
than burnt,
a corpse is of no use
to anyone.
-Hávamál: Stanza 71


Everybody has worth. Nobody is entirely worthless. Often we can get caught up in our shortcomings, and can end up in a vicious cycle where we constantly discourage ourselves from trying, which just makes us feel more discouraged about ourselves. It’s a dangerous mindset to get into, because getting back out of that pit is a long, hard process.

The Norse had dozens of Gods and Goddesses; each was human like with complex personalities and relationships.  They believed their Gods were much like themselves - they got hungry, they married, they slept, they even died.  The God Odin was missing an eye, Tyr was one-handed, Baldur was killed by another God, and Hod was blind.  The difference was the Gods lived much longer and had more power with abilities.

You can’t live in fear of your disability. Push your limits, and figure out what you CAN do. What is your unique ability? My father was in a wheelchair, and he could do math in his head faster than a calculator. My babysitter is blind, and my boys love her stories. My cousin is deaf, and the best chef in family. I suffer from depression, and I look forward to posting on this blog. Everybody has value. Everybody has things they can do, and talents they can contribute.

One update on the stanza is that even a corpse now has value.  They are used in medical schools or on body farms for studies.  Or become donor parts for the living.  The Telegraph reports that crematories already have systems in place to generate energy for heating the building, offices and, it states in one case, a swimming pool at a sports center. That's right, heat generated by burning corpses spin turbines and create enough electricity to power 1,500 televisions per cremation process.  Everyone has importance.




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