Nihil est . . . simul et inventum et perfectum.
(M. Tullius Cicero, Brutus 70)

(Pron = nee-hill ehst sih-mool eht in-wen-toom eht pehr-fehk-toom)

There is nothing that is at the same time both a new discovery and a finished

Comment: The space shuttle disasters come to mind. The recent verdict against
Merk, the maker of Viox, comes to mind. Why? Relatively speaking, both the
travel into space with the shuttles and the anti-inflammatory drug are new
discoveries in their fields. They both arrived on the scene, in our culture,
as the latest breaking discovery or development that would change life as we
know it.

They did change life as we know it. Two horrible shuttle disasters meant the
deaths of beloved astronauts along with the scientific gains of numerous
shuttle missions. The deaths of untold numbers of Americans taking Viox is
only now beginning to surface, after the initial praise for pain relief from
the drug. Neither the shuttle nor the drug were finished products. They were
new discoveries, new developments. They, in their development, were not

The English word “perfect” comes from the Latin word “perficere”. Literally,
perficere means “to make through”. The idea is to finish something to
completion. That is what “perfect” really means—to see something through its
journey, through its course. Perfection, as in flawless, I am coming to see,
simply does not exist. All life, all things that have a history, also have a
path that must be seen through. We make the tragic mistake of thinking that
anything is finally finished, or worse, perfect. Discoveries, then, are
beginnings, however wonderful, and they have a process. To assume anything
else is careless. Drugs and technology aside, each life is a process, a
journey. None is “perfect”, none is finished. Each has a step to take, today,
on the journey

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.