When I was forced to become a master of the dead
languages of Latin and koine Greek in minor seminary, I thought many times,
“What a waste.” In hindsight, how
wrong I was. Latin and Greek
studies have provided me with an extensive vocabulary and a deep understanding
of the etymology of words.
Another benefit of studying Latin for six years was
to discover the writings of Cicero.
Marcus Tullius Cicero was Rome’s most feared politician, one of the
greatest lawyers and statesmen of all times. No person has loomed larger in the political history of
humankind. So much of his
correspondence has been preserved.
I would like to list and then expound on Cicero’s “Six Mistakes of Man.”
The illusion that personal gain is made up of crushing others.
I am never surprised when I hear that
success-driven, stressed-out, win-at-all-costs individuals are miserable and
only wish for a secure marriage and enjoyment of work. Success is all about a life of integrity. If we can learn to be content with our
possessions, we will be successful.
I always feel like a success if I have a positive impact on other
tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected.
Almost everyone seems to worry about something and
yet we rarely talk about worry as a problem. Maybe that is because worry is so much a part of the way we
have come to live and be in the world that we don’t even notice it. We could worry about worry and then
worry about our worrying about worry.
It has been said that anxiety disorders are America’s most commonly
reported mental health problems.
We need some relief from worry.
3) Insisting that a thing is
impossible because we cannot accomplish it.
I am always amazed when
everyone states that something is impossible and then it happens. Our thoughts determine our
successes. If we approach an
assignment for school or a job believing that we’re able to do it, that it’s
not too hard for us, we’ll finish with ease.
Refusing to set aside trivial preferences.
You could also say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff” or
“Don’t major in minors.” Each of
us is a valuable part of the family.
When we treasure one another, and don’t waste our time finding each
other’s faults and becoming trivial, we will begin to have fewer faults. When we accept our loved ones as they
are, and enjoy sharing our lives with them, our lives become more enjoyable,
and our family love grows because we are each more loveable.
development and refinement of the mind, and not acquiring the habit of reading
For me the four secrets of fulfillment for everyday
are work, play, prayer, and study.
Years ago my parents used to say the following verse:
Books are keys to wisdom’s
Books are gates to lands
Books are paths that
Books are friends. Come let us read.
we stop learning, we stop growing.
Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.
If hugs could melt, if
kisses were made of nothing but pure air, if talkers always agreed, and if
hearts all beat to the same drum, would we desire any longer to be truly each
other? No two leaves on a tree
turn the same way in the wind; no two fish in a school tread the same water;
and no two people can live the same life.
Therefore, when we hug let’s leave some space; when we kiss let’s allow
each other to breathe; when we talk let’s permit each other to disagree; and when
we love let’s honor each other’s rhythm and way.
These words of Cicero
remind us that men and women in every place and time have pondered, struggled,
succeeded and failed in much the same way as we. In every case, they had the drive to begin their
journeys anew, day after day.
Cicero is just like us. We
are just like Cicero journeying forth courageously one day, tentatively the
next. The real importance of the
journey is simply that we’re making it, alone and yet mysteriously together.