The unexpected philosophy Icelanders live by - Deepstash
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The Iceland slogan 'þetta reddast’

The Iceland slogan 'þetta reddast’

The slogan roughly means that everything will work out all right in the end.

It sums up how many Icelanders seem to approach life - laid back, carefree attitude and a good sense of humour. Yet, the slogan seems strange for a country that is not an easy place to live in. They have long winters, extreme poverty, indentured servitude, volcanic eruptions, strong storms, and about 500 small earthquakes every week. Through the 18th Century, 30% of babies died in their first year.


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Hope in the midst of trouble

Hope in the midst of trouble

The phrase 'þetta reddast' seems to make more sense when you realise that the first Icelanders mainly were Norwegian farmers and peasants fleeing slavery and death. They risked a 1,500km journey across the rough North Atlantic seas in small open-hulled boats.

They needed a level of conviction and optimism that things will work out, even if life seems hard at present. Of course, it doesn't mean everything will always work out, but they didn't let that stop them from trying.


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Making the impossible possible

Making the impossible possible

Icelanders believe in their ability to fix things. With the harsh conditions, they are often forced to make the impossible possible.

  • In 2008, they turned from their economic collapse.
  • In 2010, they turned the eruptions of a volcano into PR opportunities that made Iceland a popular destination and made tourism the main driver of their economy.

Just like those early settlers who came from Norway, surely the same optimism can see us through the rough times we're facing.


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