Latin Proverbs: G


Gradatim ferociter

By degrees, ferociously. (Motto of Blue Origin)

The Japanese principle of kaizen comes to mind here. Small improvements quickly accrue, yet they are not terribly encouraging. In many endeavors one’s progress is slow until something clicks. Thus it requires a ferocious resolve to reach that point because for a long period of time one is working for what seems like nothing. Learn to rejoice in progress, even when it is barely visible.


Grandescunt Aucta Labore

By hard work, all things increase and grow. (Motto of Mcgill University)

Nietzsche once asked “What is good?” The answer is anything that increases power or the will to power. As so many humanist psychologists have put in so many different ways, life is about the expansion and integration of the self. Routine tends to bore and maybe it is wise to remove things, to simplify as a Daoist would, but simplifying is not as easy as it sounds. Unless one wants to live in a hut of straw, one must find a balance between inner cultivation and outer expansion. The two compliment each other.



Graviora manent

Lit. Heavier things await. Less literal: More severe trials await. (Virgil)

After enduring something terrible it is natural to succumb to a combination of the Monte Carlo fallacy and wishful thinking. Yes, this is over, things can only get better. This obstacle is cleared, it is smooth sailing from here on out! Nope, sorry. There are no guarantees.  It is wisest to assume the problems will become greater while comforting (deluding?) one’s self into thinking one will have the necessary fortitude to tackle them.



Gutta cavat lapidem [non vi sed saepe cadendo]

a water drop hollows a stone [not by force, but by falling often] (Ovid)

Although it is often our first reaction, we cannot attack all of our problems with blunt instruments. A swift kick may occasionally make a machine work, a little slap may fix the remote control, but one cannot bully a block of stone into a statue or a heap of silicone into a circuit board. In the same way we cannot force ourselves to change with harsh words or marathon study sessions. Little by little, drop by drop.

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