This is less of a #latenightrant and more of a #latenightstory. I’ve been wanting to tell this one for a while, now. I’m sure most of you know who the Vikings were, at least a little bit. They were the supposedly barbaric Norsemen who terrorized much of Europe around 1000 AD. They were reputed to be incredibly fierce warriors who raided and pillaged other countries and sailed across rough seas in single-rigged ships.
They had a myth that their main god, Odin, (father of the movie-star Thor) would dress up as a beggar and travel the Earth (which they called Midgard), asking for handouts. Anyone who offered him succor, he would bless them and their family. But, anyone who turned him away, woe betide them. Though they were considered berserk barbarians, their customs and mythology encouraged compassion and giving help to the poor.
So, the question is, if these Medieval barbarians could create a such a strong tradition of supporting those less fortunate, how can we do any less? Are we less compassionate than these so-called berserkers? Something to think about next time you see a person who is not doing so well.
(As an interesting side-note, Wednesday is named for Odin, or Woden, as he was known in Germany.)