Wednesday 12 February 2014

Havamal Snippets 124: Amongst friends, truth is preferable to civility

Honesty amongst friends is preferable to just saying what they want to hear, or saying what is easiest.  Some say that a good friend is one who will tell you things that you don't want to hear.  To do this it means valuing truth above civility (i.e. being nice to everyone and doing your best to avoid conflict), even if it means taking some flak from your friends as a result of telling them what they don't want to hear.

Sifjum er þá blandat
hverr er segja ræðr
einum allan hug
alt er betra
en sé brigðum at vera
era sá vinr öðrum
er vilt eitt segir     
Peace and trust are exchanged
when one can tell
another his whole mind.
Anything is better
than to be faithless:
he is not another's friend
who says only what the friend wants to hear.


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