Words to live by:

I grow old learning something new every day.

Solon 636 BC~ 558 BC, Greek Statesman

One can read the obvious in this statement, something like, we’re never too old to learn, but it suddenly occurred to me that the burden of age can be those things that you wished you had never learned, especially about how badly humans behave toward each other.  


Periodically I check in with what ancient writers had to say about conditions we find ourselves dealing with today. If only American politicians and corporate leaders could grasp these ideas:

Those who know how to win are much more numerous than those who know how to make proper use of their victories. Polybius (205 BC – 118 BC)

The humble suffer when the mighty disagree.

Aggression unchallenged is aggression unleashed. Phaedrus (15 BC – 50 AD) (Greed is a manifestation of aggression.)

A man’s character is his fate. Heraclitus (540 BC – 480 BC) (How did we forget that character is necessary to leadership?)

We excuse our sloth under the pretext of difficulty. Marcus Fabius Quintilian (35 – 90) Roman orator. (Nothing gets done in the USA because the smallest tasks have been made as difficult as possible to achieve, through layers upon layers of irrelevant policy, obstructive laws and the refusal on the part of leaders to be leaders; no one is held responsible for outcomes.)

What power has law where only money rules? Gaius Petronius Arbiter 27-66 A.D, Emperor Nero’s advisor (How ironic!)

There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly. Publius Terentius Afer Where are those leaders who are committed to their jobs, and not merely to “cashing out” and abandoning the country?


Words to live by: