I’m staring at two half-finished blog posts and hating them. I think it’s because even though I tend to write stuff that causes people to think about some heavy things, today I need a little levity. And I think I’m not the only one that needs it in the Heathen community.
I swear to the gods, people take everything way too seriously most of the time. Hel, our ancestors
didn’t always take everything seriously. The stories about Loki and Thor are prime examples. Thor loses his hammer; Heimdall devises a plot for a cross-dressing Thor (after Loki found out Thrym the king of the Jotun wanted Freyja as his wife) to so he can get his hammer back. The story is fairly short, but I can imagine a bunch of drunk Northmen telling the embellished story and laughing. Then, there is the story of Loki’s and Thor’s journey to Jotunheim. Oh yes, and the building of Asgard’s wall and Loki’s philandering with a stallion…
Our ancestors understood that levity was important, and not even the gods were beyond having amusing stories told about them.
My point is that our ancestors had plenty to worry about. They had invaders and wars. They had famines and poor harvests. They had diseases that wiped out whole villages that today we’ve cured or at least made less deadly. They didn’t have smartphones, iPads, and Pokemon Go. Yes, yes, we have plenty of terrible things happening in this world, but sometimes its important just to laugh and shake our heads over the crazy stuff. I swear if more people just relaxed and didn’t throw down every two minutes, I think we’d be a lot better off.
We know (from science, of course) that getting angry all the time isn’t healthy. According to Scientific American, people are getting angrier all the time and less civil due to the Internet. It’s because you’re dealing with a perfect storm of perceived anonymity, the ability to have a monologue, the inability to gauge people’s emotions and reactions, and the ability to be an armchair advocate without really doing anything toward a cause. What’s more, the media outlets actually foster this behavior by leaving up the worst comments, thus allowing people to think this is acceptable behavior.
A fairly recent piece written in the BBC talks about how Americans are even more angry than before due to a number of issues. We’re bombarded with bad news all the time and becoming more polarized. I remember back when 9-11 happened. I spent a long time being depressed because I was seeing news constantly about the terrorist attacks. Eventually, I had to turn the TV off. So it has been with the Internet.
Dealing with Rage
At some point, we have to decide if we’re going to stay angry all the time, or whether it’s time to lighten up. Obviously, there are times for seriousness, but we should take a clue from the gods and see humor even in the most dire situations (such as losing Mjolnir).