Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt.
(Julius Caesar, Gallic War 3.18.2)
pron = FAY-reh lih-BEHN-tehr HOH-mih-nays ihd kwohd WOH-loont KRAY-doont.
People often freely trust what they want.
Comment: In the process of telling us about other people, is Julius
Caesar telling us about himself? I think so. I also think that most
people do that. When we have made some judgment about others, we are
usually also talking about ourselves. The principle is simple--one
that I have made use of very often over the 4 years of these daily
Latin proverbs. It's the principle that says that we cannot see in
others something that we don't know personally. We cannot see in
others something that doesn't already exist in ourselves. And, it
most often manifests in our negative views of others.
Was JC being negative in this comment about people? I don't know, but
in our own culture, trusting what you want is often criticized. How
dare we have an opinion of our own, especially about something
That is what I have tried to cultivate in these daily proverbs: the
invitation to see life, read the words of others, hear the thoughts,
music and message of those around us, and to reflect on them in our
own lives, to make sense of things as our path unfolds.
Is trusting what one wants good or bad? It is, of course, both. It
is a bad thing when trusting what one wants flies in the face of the
truth that you know. For example, when you continue in a job or a
relationship that is hurting you and hindering your life, and pretend
that things are "okay", then choosing to trust what you want is
destructive. IN fact, this is not really trust. It is denial, often
It is a good thing when trusting what you want means that you trust
who you are, that you trust the path that unfolds in your life, day by
day. It is a good thing to trust what you want when you look in the
mirror and are willing to accept what you see--the literal mirror, and
the mirror that other people present to us.
My deepest thanks to all who have been interested in this little
project, and who, from time to time, have carried on the dialogue
through email with me. With this last Latin Proverb of the Day, my
best wishes for all and your beloveds.
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day Archive