(Tacitus, Histories 4.74)
pron = WIH-tee-ah AY-roont DOH-neck HOH-mih-nays.
Vices will exist as long as human beings do.
Comment: In the longer context of this line from Tacitus, he acknowledges that this otherwise grim assessment is relative. It is relative to the possibility of "better things". And that implies something else standing in the background and driving the whole
conversation: someone, something has decided that some things are "wrong" and other things are "better".
Very often, those things begin to feel, after several generations, like they are fixed in stone. But, if we take time to look at "vices"
they are often very relative and not so fixed in stone. More often than not, one generation's vice is really one of its fears under cover. The next generation doesn't know that, and takes the prohibition on as a taboo. The taboo drives the vice underground and it becomes, now the secret sin.
If only the generations could talk to each other about their fears.
Buddhist wisdom asserts that fear is at the core of all suffering.
Christian wisdom asserts that perfect compassion will cast fear out.
Compassion begins at home. We cannot extend compassion to others that we have not first extended to ourselves.
A good place to start is with our "favorite" vice.
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day Archive