Honeste vivere, naeminem laedere et jus sum cuique tribuere…

Posted: August 22, 2011 in news, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized

Honeste vivere, naeminem laedere et jus sum cuique tribuere. (Ulpian)

Those were the words my professor quoted when I passed my last exam & I officially qualified as a lawyer.

After getting over the first shock of realizing I can actually take people to court, I started going over Ulpian’s words:

“To live honorably, to harm no one, to give to each his own.”

Even though they are meant for lawyers and judges, I honestly believe they are a very good piece of advice for everyone. It is, if I may, the best advice to live in peace and harmony.

Take the phrase “To live honorably” for instance. What does it mean?

Honor… it seems such an old-fashioned word, doesn’t it? Some people may even consider it as quaint and of doubtful political correctness. However, if you think of it as a socially irreproachable conduct, that is to say, a sociable and useful attitude towards the world, it is actually quite practical both for the subject and society in general.

“to harm no one”

Well, that’s just plain common sense. There is nothing as unpractical as a vendetta, it causes perpetual fear and it stops society from evolving. The real rule for survival is “try not to get killed”, so basically, be nice and play fair or you will live in constant fear.

Fear is a greater evil than hunger or disease… people do terrible things moved by fear… and they permit a lot more in trying to avoid it… The person who controls the masses fears controls the masses.

” to give to each his own”

Common sense once again. If it isn’t yours leave it alone! Do not pick a fight with people just because! It is not the same thing to ask for something than to take it for granted. And if you don’t believe me try to “borrow” a tin of tuna off your flat-mate without asking and you will see what I mean.

Hence, common sense is back. Living peacefully is easier for the world ergo in fear and torment it is a lot easier to control.

Honeste vivere, naeminem laedere et jus sum cuique tribuere… Ulpian was talking about common sense… yet we still seem to have trouble finding it nearly 18 centuries afterwords…

Why you may ask? I honestly cannot say. Maybe it is a question of interests or maybe common sense is the least common of senses. Be that as it may, as learning is the path to knowledge and happiness, I will cherish Ulpian’s words, as I am sure my tutor intended me to do when he quoted them.

The bottom line is… as I take my first steps down this new path I realize all the journey is just about  trying to be happy :-)))


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