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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Emotional Strength

There is a print on my wall done by a local artist. It’s a winter scene. A lone Viking stands slumped shouldered. He’s been in a harsh battle. His gear is battered. There are bloody footprints in the snow. In the distance, down the hill from him is his ship and it’s on fire. My first thought when seeing the print was that someone was having a bad day.

I like the print a lot. I used to think the Viking was pretty screwed. Lately I don’t think so. The warrior is a survivor. He may be the only one left of his band, but he did survive. My thought is that if he walked away from the battle, he can survive the loss of his boat. Sometimes in life all you can do is endure. Endurance is victory.

I must be getting old. These days I see a lot of young people who lack emotional strength. They don’t have what it takes to deal with adversity. It’s not all their fault. After all, it’s my generation that raised them. Helicopter parents who remove every obstacle in their kid’s path do them no favors. Eventually they’ll run into something mommy and daddy can’t fix.

For me, it’s really embarrassing to see a grown adult throwing a temper tantrum. That is so immature. In fact, even if I could help that person I’m inclined not to. They are unpleasant to be around. It’s one thing to have a brief flash of emotion, but then it’s time to buckle down and deal with the problem. Being emotionally upset and throwing a hissy fit fixes nothing.

In our technologically advanced and pampered world it’s possible for the emotionally immature to survive. Heck, someone might even coddle them and try to make it all better. All that does is enable further poor behavior. When events cause things to go wrong too many lack the mental strength needed to keep on going.

So I think of that lone Viking watching the boat, his way home, burn. I can imagine him squaring his shoulders and then trudging onward.



  1. I do like your interpretation of the print, and I agree with all you said.

    1. Thank you Hermit Jim -and thanks for coming by.

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  3. Too many young adults today have lived such a pampered life that they don't know how to react to hardships and diversities.

    1. I only hope that they find some steel in their backbones when they really need it.

  4. Well, historically, he wandered off and married some local woman, and immersed himself into the local culture, bringing his assets (strength of spirit, combat tactics, and the Norse/Dane/Scandinavian advanced fishing and agriculture methods to his new home.

    Happened in France, Russia, Constantinople, England, Scotland, and Ireland. From France, via the Normans, Italy, Sicily, Corsica, England again, Scotland again, Ireland again, Wales, Antioch, Jerusalem etal.

    Survivors thrived, if they survived. And then went 'native' into the native culture. Always an asset to any people they married into.

    Unless he was in Greenland in the 1350's, when the Fimbul Winter returned (no, really, last Greenland outpost was lost to eternal winter during that mini-ice age.)

    Or... Well... There's legends in Japan of these barbaric red-haired foreigners... Makes you wonder...

    Your dual interpretations are interesting. The first is the reality of the moment. The second is showing a hope for the future. Good on you. Hope is a needful thing.

    1. Thanks for the historical background. Having some Norman in my admittedly mixed heritage, I'm proud.

      There is no false hope, there is only hope.