The month of August 2019, thus far, has been a sad one for Americans. I am speaking principally about the violence in our streets and the vicious slander in our political system. I am currently reading the book by the Cicero, a Roman Consul near the time of Christ: The Republic. I find comfort in reading these old books because through books the old wise men of ages past can hand down their experience to us. Humans are always the same – they keep doing the same thing over and over, generation after generation.
As I see events discussed everyday on the news, I cannot help but think, “What about our future?” I think wise men like Cicero can give us a glimpse into our future, and also provide advise and suggest caution. All day long I think about where our industry is going in the face of automation, rising inventories, trade deals, emissions control, and plant expansions. However, it all does not matter if we do not get the fundamentals right.
Things are the worst I have ever seen them. But, I am not going to play the role of the Muse and make some sort of mystic, cryptic allegory about the present. I will let Cicero do it for me.
Two notes about the book, however. The word “stranger” I believe means “foreigner”. In Spanish and Latin, the words for both are very similar. The translator might not have gotten the inference in Latin. Also, the word “slave” perhaps means “employee”. I know from church that the word slave does mean employee in the Bible; and of course, the disciples and Cicero were writing at about the same time. In ancient history, a few great writers and thinkers were actually slaves.
I hope the words of Cicero bring solace to you too. We can learn from these old guys, they got the experience. I have highlighted the important parts in a light shade of red.