Asatru is not just something from the distant past; it is a valuable tool for a successful life in the twenty-first century.
I was delivering medications at the juvenile institution where I work. A teenage girl entered the room to receive her various pills and potions. Hesitant and meek, plain-looking but with potential, she took her medicines and washed them down with water from a paper cup. Seeing that she had a Scandinavian name, I sought to make small talk by saying "Oh, I think you must be Swedish!" She shrugged her shoulders, said that she didn't know, and made it clear that she could not possibly care less. If anything, she seemed to think my remark really stupid, in that dismissive way teens have.
The door buzzed; she exited and headed back to her pod. I was saddened by this little encounter. Her demeanor showed her lack of confidence and self-respect; her presence in the institution indicated these traits had gotten her into trouble - with more in store in the years to come.
I remembered reading that teen girls of European descent had the lowest self-esteem of any comparable group in the United States. Here was an example right before my eyes.
Roots matter! Without them we have no context, no place in the world. Only when we find those roots and cherish them are we truly complete. We of Asatru have to show the way home, point out the ancestral path, and let our people know there is something better than the soul-less, media-created culture that now surrounds us!
Stephen A. McNallen
Asatru Folk Assembly