It is Latin Tuesday and, in the spirit of our quote of the day, I have delayed to post until I could receive a good understanding of what is being said:
Remedium īrae est mora.
The remedy of ire is delay.
El remedio de la ira es la espera.
Our writer, Seneca, writes of two equal nouns, remedy and delay. As discussed before, when two nouns are both in the nominative case and united by the verb ‘to be’ they are seen as equal. In this case, Seneca is saying ‘delay’ is exactly the same as ‘remedy;’ not only for ‘ire’ but for any other bad nouns we can think of. We do the same in English. ‘This is him,’ using the verb to be, means ‘I am the very same one you are asking about’ when someone called. ‘Strength is perseverance’ reflects not only the equality of the nouns, but also the equality of those individuals who possess said qualities. In other words, what Seneca is also saying is that he who is willing to delay can be a good remedy to he who is prone to anger. Have you ever heard the expression “fight fire with fire”? What more insane concept can there be than adding fire to fire in order to put it out? Have you ever heard of anyone stopping a flood by adding more water to the mix? I wager not.
You may say ‘well, fires are actually fought by setting fires in the direction of the original fire to stop the advance of it.’ To that I would reply that it is not the secondary fire that stops the original one, but the lack of fuel left by the secondary -and extinguished- fire when the original arrives. Add fire to fire, and you create more fire. Abraham Lincoln was a firm believer on this idea of delay, as he, being a passionate man, wrote responses to individuals which he later destroyed in order to write a second response. The reason for this was in his constructing and deconstructing Lincoln allowed ire to pass in order to build a more thoughtful and careful response to the individual in question. Not bad from the man who often quoted Euclid as justification for the moral need to see White and Black men as equals.
Thus, delay in response, but not too much; after all, the expectation of today is that you will reply to your friends with as much conscience and analogy as you have been able to do in the past, only faster. Easy, right?