Non quia difficilia sunt, non audemus; sed quid non audemus, difficilia sunt.
(Seneca, Epistuale Morales 104.26)

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; but it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.

pron = nohn KWEE-ah dif-fih-KIH-lee-ah soont, nohn ow-DAY-mus; sehd kwid nohn ou-DAY-moos dif-fih-KIH-lee-ah soont.

Comment: Everyone likely has an application for these words. They describe the interplay in our minds over why things as we see them don't work out as we would like. The basic message is that things have not worked out as we would like because we lack daring. We lack boldness. Often that is true. Often enough things don't work out because we give up before we try. We say: "it could not be done. It was too difficult." Or, we say, I think perhaps much more often: it could only be done this way.

In this last approach, what is lacking is a boldness of imagination, not brute force. In these days of increasing war and violence in our world, I am more and more convinced that what we lack is a boldness of imagination, not a lack of brute force. What if brute force, violence and war were not options? We would be left with our imaginations to resolve what goes ill in the world.

Or to try and say this more generally: what if the status quo doesn't work? Now, what can I imagine that might?

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