King Harald asks people to be considerate

King HaraldPhoto.King Harald: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

King Harald asks people to be nicer to each other

The Norwegian King, in this year’s New Year speech, urged people to be friendly to each other and to conduct respectful conversation despite disagreement.


The King began this year’s New Year speech with a quote from Solomon’s Proverbs 4:23:

“Keep your heart above all you preserve, for life is based on it.”

“So how do we keep our heart? We do this by being friendly to each other. By conducting a respectful conversation despite disagreement. By raising others,” King Harald said in the speech.

The King emphasised that we all have an opportunity, every day, to influence both our own and others’ sense of worth and happiness.

“For those who think no one cares about what I am doing, I would say, just your smile can make a difference to a person you meet on the street, just your kind word can create a better day for another person. And just your thoughtfulness can trigger new good actions.


The King pointed out that Norway is built on the ability to compromise, and that by discussing among ourselves, we can lay the foundation for a good society.

“We also see the significance of this ability in the world – not least when nations work together to protect nature and save our planet,” King Harald emphasised, adding:

“We compromise daily – in the family, in the schoolyard, at work and in politics. Being able to live well together despite differences and
disagreements are perhaps one of the most important things to preserve, both in our close relations, in Norway, and respect the world.”

One people – One country

King Harald added that we have good reason to be both proud and grateful for everything we have, and he expressed concern about
developments in other neighbouring countries.

“We see with some turmoil with developments in countries that are close to us. In the midst of this, Norway is still a country where we can express ourselves, believe, think – and most importantly, keep our freedom intact.

These values are common property that everyone in our country should share in,” emphasised the King.

“We must strengthen this foundation together so that we do not lose ourselves and each other – but know that we are one people, that we are one country.”

Teachers and health workers

The King also said that everyone who makes an effort that many easily take for granted, but that helps us to have a community, builds great confidence in each other.

“You who are in service for Norway in other countries. All health workers who do their utmost to provide good and caring health services. All teachers each day who go to their work with both thought, eye and heart for each student. All service workers who strive for professional and friendly service. Like many other occupational groups, you create an experience that the vast majority do their best and want for each other as well – through countless daily meetings in different arenas,” the King said in the speech.


Towards the end of the speech, the king addressed anyone who carries something unsettled and presented reconciliation as a redeeming force.

“Imagine if we could all feel a little extra – if we could manage to lift some of our burdens. As adults, we have a special responsibility for the way we interact with each other. Children and young people learn from what adults do and say. It is we who through our behaviour convey what is fine. Therefore, we must behave properly towards each other. We must talk to each other in a way that we want our children to carry with them through life.”

He concluded with a desire for a joint New Year’s resolution:

“That in the coming year, we will meet each other with kindness. If we together wish for a society characterised by respect in spite of disagreement, of openness rather than fear, of warmth rather than distance – yes we can do it. In this way, we also preserve our heart – which life itself assumes – and which makes us who we are. ”

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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