These are easily my favorite Havamal stanzas and goes with the air in our Facebook group this week.
The miserable man and evil minded
makes of all things mockery,
and knows not that which he best should know,
that he is not free from faults.
An idiot (or fool, foolish or prideful man) mocks everyone and everything. He finds fault in other people, or perhaps in their looks or actions and makes fun of them. But then cannot see his own flaws. No one is above flaws, and a good Asatruar should always strive to be a better person, family member and member of their kindred and/or community.
The unwise man thinks all to know,
while he sits in a sheltered nook;
but he knows not one thing, what he shall answer,
if men shall put him to proof.
People who are boastful and claim knowledge without gaining it through experience find themselves mute when around those who have.
You can read about mountain climbing and know much about it. But when you’re around people who have done it, you wont have much to talk about. Or youll find yourself the fool trying to talk about it.
For the unwise man ’tis best to be mute
when he come amid the crowd,
for none is aware of his lack of wit
if he wastes not too many words;
for he who lacks wit shall never learn
though his words flow ne’er so fast.
If you are not knowing of the subject of conversation, do not speak of it. Better to remain quiet. Do not force yourself into a conversation where you cannot be a thoughtful and interesting member and contributor. Only fools try to get involved in a discussion they know nothing about. Best remain silent.
If you’re foolish enough to try, then people will know you’re an idiot.