In regione caecorum, rex est luscus.
(Erasmus, Adagia)

In the realm of the blind, the king has one eye.

Pron = in ray-ghee-OH-nay kai-KOH-room reks ehst LOOS-koos.

Comment: Before all else, I must acknowledge that Erasmus has used a
community, the blind, as a metaphor for something negative. Some
people think that paying attention to these kinds of things can be
dimissed by calling it "pc" talk. When I first learned to take note
of this use of language, I thought of it as a way of demonstrating
respect for all kinds of human beings. This was clearly not a concern
of Erasmus, and he was using "the blind" as a negative metaphor.

Now, when you think of a "realm of the blind" as a metaphor for
something, some organization, some community or agency or system, what
comes to mind?

As a metaphor, it seems to imply a system of people who cannot "see",
who have little wisdom, little sense, little trustworthy direction.

And then Erasmus plays out the metaphor. In such an organization or
system, the leader, the king is the one who can "half see". One step
up from no insight at all makes one the king.

Such reflections are supposed to help us laugh a bit--release some
stress. Otherwise, we rage, or we cry, or we become hopeless.

Perhaps we find ourselves, today, in the midst of such a kingdom of
those who have no insight, no wisdom, and it's driving us crazy. And
then, along comes the leader of the realm, and we see why there is
such craziness--he can barely see himself. Laugh a bit, and then take
some action!

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day Archive