I do not consider the NNV to be a historical reference. I do consider them to be a modern way of understanding cultural and even subconscious values that were stressed, if not perfectly, by those peoples lumped together as Norsemen.
This series will explore my thoughts on these values and, hopefully, start conversations about them in a modern context.
Courage is a concept oft discussed and seldom understood. People say it's the soul of a soldier defending the ideals and values of their country. Soldiers argue that it's the way you deal with absolute terror, doing what needs to be done in the face of that which makes others run. I'm more inclined towards the latter definition.
While courage may have once been the one who faces down wolves and bears to protect friends and family, times have changed. Not nearly as much as you would think though. Our loved ones are not threatened by wildlife so much these days. Instead, it is society itself that is the greatest threat to many of us.
To me, courage is weighing your options carefully and using whatever advantages you have in your life to stand up for others.
This is the tough part, because literally no one can tell you how much risk to take. If you have a boss who's racist, you can't necessarily tell them to shut up if you have rent to pay and a family to feed. If you are a minority, you may not be able to stand up against discrimination in a safe way.
Weighing your options
Even online, women are doxxed and attacked and threatened more than men. I imagine the same is true for racial and LBGTQ+ minorities. Diving into various discussions that will likely turn hostile can have actual, harmful consequences.
At the same time, I'm sure there are many who use that as an excuse to not stand up for people being discriminated against. There are some who will live their lives more intimidated by possibilities.
And the hard part is, ONLY THEY CAN KNOW WHICH IS TRUE. More often, they haven't done the introspection to know, but I certainly can't make that call for them. Neither can anyone else.
The first step in courage is knowing the truth behind your motives. Is it because the threat is really too much? or is it because the threat is too frightening? Until you know, you can't know that you act with courage.