In recognition of my extremely long post for yesterday, in Greek, I shall leave this one short and sweet. That means, of course, less than 1000 words… ok, so it won’t even be anywhere near that long.
Tacitus, arguably one of the best chroniclers and historians of Ancient Rome, took quite the pains to write, verbatim, some sayings of the Emperors. Perusing his writings, I found this by the Emperor Titus (b. 39- d.81):
Amici, diem perdidi.
Friends, I have lost the day.
Amigos, he perdido el día.
Titus, according to Tacitus, said this because whilst sitting down for dinner, he realized he had done no favors for anyone through the entire day. The historian was impressed, calling Titus’ words memorabilem illam meritoque laudatam, meritorious and praiseworthy, liable to be remembered. We always speak, and at length, of seizing the day. We dwell on how the Romans saw themselves as go-getter stoics, infallible in their logic, mighty with the sword, and who knows what else. I liked this particular quotation because, even to Tacitus, it showed a different side of the Romans and their Emperors. There sat Titus, at a table, eating dinner, hanging out with his family, friends, those most close to him (and a bunch of slaves, of course), and whoever else mattered to him. As he laughed and perhaps plotted, it occurred to him he had bestowed no favors (praestitisset) to anyone; he had presented nothing to another. He would have stopped laughing, joking, or conversing and, in the moment, when all had quieted, uttered the words. I am certain it was not long before the revelry ensued, but the impression remained.
So, reader, etiam unum diem possumus non perdere, we cannot lose even a single day. Let us seek those we love; those we care about. Let us find someone in need, a moment of pensive reflection. Let us hunt for sunsets and rainbows, waterfalls and dawns. After all, the nicest thing you can do in any given day can also be for yourself. Write that poem, that story, write that letter of love’s declaration, say you are sorry, hug someone you cared about once. Let us seize the day, so that none of them are lost to the passing of time and the unrighteous forgetting of memory.