By Mark Ludwig Stinson
While this can be a little difficult for any modern person to understand or fully comprehend, our Heathen ancestors lived in a state of Frith with their kin. In a sense, the individual did not exist as a social unit, with the family as the smallest unit within society. When one member of the family accomplished something good, the whole family was credited and benefited from it. When one member of the family did something wrong, every member of the family suffered some degree of shame and would pay the price for it. Having a family or kin group meant that you mattered or had value as a member of that group. An individual without a kin group had no one to speak for him/her at Thing, no one to avenge his/her death, and that individual was essentially nothing. Alone. A Nithling. With no more powers or rights than an out-law really.
In modern Heathenry, one of the biggest barriers any kindred faces, is the individualism and selfishness taught to us by our mainstream culture. Our modern culture tells us that our invidual feelings and needs are paramount, and need to be deeply examined, analyzed, and understood. In a sense, the modern world tends to encourage us to view the world as something of our own creation, and that everyone else is just a secondary character in the story that is our individual life.