Here are some translations from Latin quotations I took from a few books of mine, notably The Anchor Book of Latin Quotations, compiled by Norbert Guterman (Anchor-Doubleday, New York, 1966 and reprinted 1990) and Cave Canem: A Miscellany of Latin Words & Phrases, by Lorna Robinson (Walker & Co., New York, 2008).
Some of these have resonance in today’s politics, even local politics. Others have resonance in events, issues and thoughts about the world. Some are simply words that have resonance to me and my own choices in life.
People who are unsuccessful are all somehow inclined to be suspicious: they are prompt to take offence. Because of their poverty, they are always sure you are slighting them. Omnes quibus res sunt minus seondae, magis sunt nescio quo modo suspiciosi: ad contumeliam omnia accipunt magis: propter suam inpotentiam se semper credunt ludier.
From Adelphoe, 605.
Who do those words make you think of? The people who post angry messages on social media just to get a response? People perennially suspicious of the intent and motives of others? Bitter bloggers?
But as Appius Claudius Caecus wrote, “Quisque faber suae fortunae:” each is the architect of his own fortune. We can each choose to be positive, or we can choose to be negative, and from those choices our fortunes and futures spring. I choose the positive.
One must always be on one’s guard: there are many snares for the good. Vigilandum est semper: multae insidiae sunt bonis.
Words that our incumbent members of council – and indeed all candidates for council – should heed. No matter how much good you think you do, someone will always find fault. They set snares for you, blame you for failing, even as you do good. Someone will always attempt to make your best efforts seem bad. Someone will always belittle and denigrate what you sincerely believed was in the best interests of all.
Rise above it. As Horace wrote in Carmina, “Aequam memento rebus in arduis servare mentem:” Remember when life’s path is steep to keep your mind even.
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