In malis sperare bene, nisi innocens, nemo solet.
(Publilius Syrus, Sententia 653)

No one is accustomed to hoping for good things in the midst of adversity, except the one who does no harm.

pron = in MAH-lees speh-RAH-ray NEE-see IHN-noh-kehns NAY-noh SOH-let.

Comment: The presumption is that if something adverse is happening to you, then you have no reason to be optimistic. It's probably your fault. If someone wants to think that way about their difficulties, it is probably a waste of time to argue otherwise. However, if we ever wonder or question how to be in the midst of adversity, then it might be worth rethinking this attitude.

The Romans, for one reason (religion) or another (various
philosophies) understood life in terms of Fate. Someone had decided.
And being "innocens", that is innocent of doing any harm, probably also included not having a fate that called for adversity.

What if, though, adversity is simply what I have to work with today?
My roof leaks. I have to deal with that. My car breaks down. I have to deal with that. I stumble and hurt myself, or worse, a loved one dies. These are the events in my life, today, that I have to work
with. They are not going away. Why add to the difficulty of dealing
with them by heaping on some blame for them? They each, in their own way, invite me to stop and look at my life (my finances, my contacts, my resources, my health, my relationships, my priorities), and if I allow, these adversities can actually bring me to a place of gratitude.

Stuff is going to happen today. How are we going to work with it?
It's a question that implies a variety of possibilities.

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