Summa sedes non capit duos.

The highest seat (of authority) does not hold two (people).

(pron = SOOM-mah SEH-days nohn KAH-pit DOO-ohs)

Comment: A quick search of the web shows a man using this quotation to say that
this expresses the real nature of power. I have heard this sentiment expressed
all through my life, especially within any organization where there is conflict
over a decision. The idea is usually expressed because those present want
someone to make a decision and impose it on others. The assumption is that
this is the only way that power can work, even if you don't like it.

Many years ago, I was introduced to a way of decision making that I was told
belonged to the Quaker tradition. In short, when a decision must be made, the
community gathers, sits in silence with the question, and waits on eneregy to
move people to speak. As individuals are so moved, they stand and simply state
the direction they sense. The decision is only made when the entire gathered
community is of one mind on the right decision. No decision is ever made by
vote, by committee or by decree. It slows down the initial decision making
process, but it gains so much more in the end because everyone involved in the
community becomes the decision-maker, is responsible, and owns the direction
and results of the decision.

As I see it, real power never belongs in the hands of one over the many. That
is an illusion we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel better, and to remove
the tension of having to work out a common way. Real power resides everywhere,
in every person, in all of creation, and it is a collective move. Damage is
done when power is mistaken for force and decisions are made by force. In that
respect, it is easy to see where force has been used. Simply observe where
something, or someone, has been destroyed.

The seat of highest authority is not something to be held. It is something to
be shared.

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