Latin 101: Seize the Day and Do It Now

Carpe Diem
‘Do It Now’ is almost a personal mantra and something I’ve discussed on this blog and elsewhere; however, today I want to discuss two related Latin phrases to stimulate your cerebral cortex.

  1. Carpe Diem: The Roman poet Horace wrote this famous line “Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero” (Odes 1.11) which literally means Pluck the day, trust as little as possible in tomorrow. Horace certainly does suggest that one should enjoy life in the current moment and live each and every day to their fullest. Seize the day is also the ancient Roman way of saying Do It Now.

  3. Memento Mori: This phrase was continually whispered in the ear of a victorious general by a slave during his triumphal procession when he returned to Rome. This was done in order to prevent any such leader from beginning to believe that he was Godlike. A good translation is Remember that you are mortal or Remember thou will die. Time Management would not be an issue if living forever was a real option. The message is clear: life is short and fleeting. What is the best solution for the shrinking gap between birth and death? Do not wait for tomorrow you may die: Do It Now.