Say Needful Things

Say needful things, or say nothing at all. – The Havamal

I am of Scandinavian ancestry, so I have studied old Norse philosophy. The Havamal is attributed to the god Odin, who is associated with wisdom, healing, death, and the runic alphabet.

It is hard to practice this vary wise saying of only saying needful things. We love to share our thoughts. Silence makes us feel uncomfortable, and even neglected.

But we have never learned anything by talking, only by listening.

To say nothing at all seems strange to some people. But still waters run deep.

Judging what is needful is another problem. We are not always good at deciding what should be said and what shouldn’t.

There is a great saying that might help, “Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?”

Published by

Jay N. Forrest

We are old too soon, and wise too late! I am a philosopher, a pursuer of wisdom. I have spent my life seeking to know the truth and discover wisdom for living. I don't claim to be a wise man, just an old man. But I do think I have something to say that might help those interested in living a good life without the supernatural.