Think like a Viking: Part thirty four

in Self Improvement4 months ago

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Everyone is master of his own words.

Each Thursday I select a Viking quote, sometimes randomly but ofttimes based upon relevance or meaning to my life at that point in time. Despite these phrases being over a thousand years old I believe most can still offer value in modern society and I find it interesting to ponder, weigh and measure them. original im src

This week's Viking quote

Everyone is master of his own words. - Grettir Saga

How would you say you're perceived by others? I suppose the answer depends on who it is that's looking as different people may have different perceptions of you and your actions. A parent may see you one way, a teacher another, your work colleagues in yet another and your life-partner differently again for instance. We cannot dictate to others about how they should perceive us however they are most often influenced by how we act and by what we say or write; how we present ourselves essentially.

Over the last several days I've watched a known plagiarist, someone who has been caught out and addressed three times prior, plagiarise yet again. I, and diverse others, addressed it reasonably firmly and the person has found themselves permanently blacklisted. Unsurprisingly, the person is professing their innocence, at least, continues to maintain that the plagiarism was unintentional. I'm not sure how one unintentionally copies and pastes someone else's writing and passes it off as their own, however this individual claims it is so. Of course, those of us in the community who see it, the user's peers, see through the delusional behaviour quite clearly.

Like always, there's many ways to read this particular Viking quote with the most obvious being that one can control what one says or writes.

I'm drilling down further though and suggesting that one can control or manage how one is perceived by the actions we take and by what we say or write. Our plagiarist friend has done this quite completely; actions have left a distinct impression and perception with the community at large and it's unlikely to change. It brings to mind the phrase; you reap what you sow. Also, the thing with other people's perceptions, right or wrong, is that they are incredibly difficult to change once formed. With me, it takes a lot to gain trust however it's very easily lost and once lost...well, it's nigh on impossible to regain. That's just how I'm made. I more easily change my perceptions based on new information however, like the trust thing, someone's perception of people can be difficult to change.

I'm a best-life seeker; I chase the best version of myself, for me and others. Whilst I don't always hit that high mark through reaching for it I attain better results more often, am a better person more often I guess and, in my opinion, I present much better to others for it. I don't live my life to impress, gain accolades or adoration from others, I live my life for myself and choosing this process and deploying a continual improvement mindset means I'm best-placed to avoid regret later in life...A happy by-product is that people's perceptions of me may be more positive also.

I don't believe we are defined as people, individual humans, by our reputation and other people's perceptions; perceptions can be skewed and sometimes baseless. Naturally, other people's perceptions can be completely on-point as well. But our reputation does not truly define the human being we are, I believe it's our character that does that; how we act, speak, write and treat people and how we generally conduct ourselves. What we do when no one is looking says a lot about us and I think the feeling of contentment, self-respect and worth that comes with those actions are of such great value to us as individuals.

I'm honest enough to say I've not always been my best version and, with no disrespect intended, haven't met a single person whose conduct, at some point or another, is unimpeachable. It's the nature of humans to be flawed and fallible and I don't think any of us are above reproach. Having said that, I feel it is in people's best interest to present themselves as well as possible and to act in a manner that shows good character...But I'm not naïve enough to think that it'll happen, as per with our plagiarising friend above.

That's it for this week, a thousand year-old Viking quote urging caution when it comes to our actions lest we be perceived poorly and reminding that we have the power to control our words and actions, and therefore, people's perceptions. Please feel free to disagree with my interpretation and add your own, tell me a story around this quote or topic or simply react to it and let me know what you think, how you see it, how it relates to you or someone you know.


Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised so be humble and kind

Discord: galenkp#9209


That's a great quote, and very similar to another conversation we've had.

When these stories were originally passed down it was only a very small portion of the population that was literate, so stories were passed down verbally. Back in the day, let's say, a person's words carried weight and meaning. People did not "just say" anything; if they did they were held accountable and, in Viking society, that could mean a bloodfeud. It was not just a statement, but it was wise and a necessary thing to be a master of your own words; choosing the wrong ones could have very negative consequences.

The same still holds true today, of course, but we're not as beholden to the spoken word as previous societies. We swear a lot, for instance. If a Viking swore it was serious.

And of course, none of my tirade has anything to do with plagiarism, which I suppose is really what you were getting at. Plagiarism is for the lazy and uncreative. It is sad that it's done, but people do need to be responsible for their own actions.

I'm pretty fascinated with the Vikings and feel they are quite misunderstood, or have been until more recently. They were a lot more than the bloodthirsty culture they were made out to be.

They didn't write anything down as you say, just some tunes here and there really, so the Saga's and Edda's were told/sung. I guess much got lost in translation and the retelling but we can still learn much from them. I was going to say, from these simple people, but they were not all that simple right?

I liked your comment about laziness and plagiarism and yes, ownership and responsibility, is essential, or should be. Traits I have and value.

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We have great potentials embedded within us. Question is: how many of us believe it or have the courage to set out to use our creative ability to achieve something great.

Also, however people perceive you, good or bad.. It's left for you to ask yourself question at all times if you're doing something right without infringing on other people or their properties.
Like you said; we gotta be humble and kind... Always!

One must always present as best as one can, or so I believe. Perceptions of us can be wrong, and often are, but as long as we are true to ourselves then we're going ok.


Oh this is a good one, brother!

Firstly, nothing incenses me more than a thief, and a plagiarist is the most abhorrent version of a thief for they are stealing thoughts, ideas, and the essence of someone else.

I, like you, am very hard to sway once a characterization of someone is formed. I use "characterization" exactly due to your point of reputations can be flawed and distorted based on the receiver's perceptions, life experiences, and other factors.

I try to be better than I was yesterday and many days I fail. Nothing bothers me more to the core than when a new person happens to interact with me on the days I experience weakness and present a version of myself that is not true to my nature, goals, and aspiration. It bothers me because I haven't given them an honest opportunity to meet "me" and that impression I left with them can linger for a very long time and it sincerely bothers me.

On a completely superficial level, this quote really resonated with me because I choose not to use profanity. I had a very respected teacher, who became a mentor, who told me many times that profanity was taking a shortcut with your mind and emotions and that stuck with me so deeply. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate a really creative cussing session as much as the next guy, but for me it is about control and self-discipline. I might not be able to control the situations that frustrate me, but I can control one of the most powerful things I words.

I really like the swearing thing and what's behind it. That fellow, and yourself, are clever and it's an admirable trait.

I swear, but know when not to. But yeah, I swear. Lol. You know, in my whole life I never heard my father swear. Not a single time. I respect that.

This just has to say a lot about me. Being who you I am has been the most difficult journey I had for the past eight years.
The years before the eight years had been time for me to have fun as I would say which I did. The most incredible thing I would say is that I never failed until I gained admission into the University, I thought I knew myself, apparently, I didn't.

I failed woefully because I was been too many persons trying to be like someone else, which brought failure both academically and ultimately psychologically.

I still see myself as that guy that plagiarized.
I started an autoblog, autohage before I met have and already had started plagiarizing in my autoblog then brought the same technique to hive.
Hive watchers brought all post I plagiarized with their sources and I was blacklisted, luckily not permanently.
What a time I had, I understand this.

Going back to being myself, I just had to fully accept my flaws which was making me prefer someone over me and paying the consequences.

I actually put myself first now and that has been the best because I later have a streak of success.
Now, I'm done with schooling because of my decisions which is ultimately accepting myself.

Anytime Vikings crosses my mind, Ragnar Lothbrok also does.
The journey continues.

It's big of you to admit and acknowledge your plagiarism of the past. It can be turned around, bad behaviour, but it's easier to do the right thing from the outset.

I definitely agree with you because it was very detrimental to me but I like to use that as a yardstick moving forward.

Your word is all you have. It is something you should protect with your life. If people can not count on your word and a handshake, this is not someone I want to be around. Sadly this has been mostly lost in the world we find ourselves in.

I agree completely. It seems ones word is deemed as worthless by most these days.

Wow your post looks beautiful, great job, have a nice day!

Electronic perception can be pretty exhausting at times. I suppose it is wonderful that emojis were invented, being that text lacks tone. Tone of voice, I mean. I moderate a group on another platform, which has some basic rules. Nothing unreasonable - very basic. Without these very basic guidelines the group implodes and becomes useful to no one. And people hate being told what to do, and are quick to assume that I am a nasty tyrant that is shouting rules at them, often when they have never interacted with me before. I must use the most exaggeratedly pleasant language. So many pleases; so many thank yous; so many "it would be helpful if..." People see what they want to see, sometimes even when there is little evidence for it - or at least when you are a figure of authority this seems to be the case.

It burns me out and I find myself enjoying the advice "don't talk to strangers," which I have decided includes most people on the internet:)

I'll be honest and say it's unlikely I'd have the patience for all that please, thank you and such. I mean, I'm a polite man Ginny, but online, as you say, the sensitivity level is off the chain and so...I'd not want to moderate a group.

Like with THE WEEKEND community and The Pew I have. I just mute posts that don't follow the guidelines rather than waste time with the please and thank you. If people don't like it they can posts elsewhere. My community, my guidelines. I don't think that's wrong of me.

If someone came into my house and ignored the established guidelines and pissed all over the floor instead of using the bathroom I'd deal with it in similar fashion, that is to say decisively what's the difference online?

Don't talk to strangers is a good piece of advice.

Yes, I think it takes a personality that innately likes to keep the peace. The group I moderate was started by other people and is created specifically to benefit my local community, so I feel less of a sense of ownership and all-powerful as you do on one that you created yourself. The unfortunate fact is that a lot of people just don't understand the rules, and those are the ones I try to help. I'm not implying that you should - this is a much different environment where people are more technologically savvy and independent. Other platforms require a bit more hand-holding, especially with the 65+ crowd.

The rules factor is actually part of why I don't really like communities here and don't post in them that often. I came here to write random crap how I want to do it, with my pictures that are random crap from my phone, and I don't really want to have to make sure I did certain things before I hit "post." I get it though - most people come here for rewards and want to collect the max amount of followers, etc., so I suppose channels make sense for them. This is my blowing off steam writing place, and I just don't care about what I get for it and who read it. Having more people read as great...but it isn't worth it to me. Ha.

Yeah, I understand about communities here. My rules are simple though:

  • Make it weekend-focused content
  • Don't self cross-post

Seems rather simple to me. 😉

Those community sites like you moderate can be difficult, or so I imagine and yeah, so understand the need for patience - You're probably the right person for the job being (mostly) totally legit. 😁

Yes, simple enough. Maybe I will stop by sometime. I did post in one or two recently. Innerblocks kind of resounded with me. What is self cross-posting - putting a post in multiple communities? Sorry, I'm sort of that person at a party who stumbles into different conversations, gathers a couple of tidbits, and then walks away before really learning anything. I like hors d'oeuvres more than I like talking. I think we are getting back to that "don't talk to strangers" bit.

I'm glad you have decided I am totally legit. Looks like it was a close call :)

Wasn't a close call.

Cross posting is when one does a post then posts it into different communities. I don't have a problem with it and have done it myself for other people's posts, but not on my own posts. I see self cross posting one's own posts as a bit desperate and so don't permit it in my communities.

I see. As a person that has been with the same man for 16 years, dropping one post in multiple communities sounds like a scandalous lack of constancy :) I didn't realize that was even a thing.

People get desperate I guess and think that by doing it they will get more votes. It turns me off though and I don't vote them.

Words can be so tricky, can't they? You can even use the same words, but, thanks to the internet, even those can be tricky. Look at these words:

Let's eat, Grandpa!

We can use the same words, yet have a different result:

Let's eat Grandpa!

Poor Grandpa. Who knew a comma could save him? All we have are our words, but, it is the way you use those words that makes you stand out or fail. I have never been so keenly aware of my lack of communications skills until I started texting, years ago. This is especially evident when you are dealing with an overly sensitive person who reads into what you are texting. No! No! That is not at all what I meant. Ginny nailed it. It is exhausting some days. In my quest to reach out and touch, it feels like I reached out and slapped someone.

I like texting, but, it doesn't quite make it in the feels department.

For the record, a man is only as good as his word.

Nice example Swigs!

Text communication is the worst I think; I use it, but for conveying the message it's somewhat lacking at times. It's flat and communication is not.

I like the written word, as you know, and enjoy it's mysteries and nuances but if done poorly it leaves so much to the imagination. Even phone conversation can.

I have a saying, phones are for making appointments, face to face is for doing business. That goes for business itself and personal.

For the record, a man is only as good as his word.

Indeed. I like to think I'm pretty good at this aspect but, being human, I'm also fallible.


Messages frequently lose their meaning and fall flat! Yes! That exactly. I have many people that prefer to use it, but, honestly face-to-face is what really works best, but, just like you are in Australia, texting is great because I get to communicate with you! Otherwise, do without... so sometimes, it has to.

If I didn't have the phone, I wouldn't talk with my family half as much as they all live 800 miles away from me. But, at least we video chat. That makes it almost better.

We are all human!

I can understand it also as staying behind your words. Sure, words are coming out of us and you made them, so that's why it makes you a master of them. But standing behind them is totally different story and only a true master can achieve that. I was blown away by an article about how words can improve plants and water particularly. Cursed words and negative ones can drastically affect plants and even stress them out. So maybe we don't even realize how important are words. And nowadays we have these machines which are shooing billions of words out and can affect other people without realizing it. If you ask me anonymity should be banned on the internet. Stand behind your words and take responsibility for them.

Stand behind your words and take responsibility for them.

Out of all you say this stands out the most. I agree completely. ✅