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Quote of the Day: “Round and round passes the hand; little by little the elements lose their own characteristics; and out of many comes a single color.”

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Round and round passes the hand; little by little the elements lose their own characteristics; and out of many comes a single color.

I thought this translated* portion from Virgil’s poem Moretum was appropriate for today and appropriate for this series of quotes that I am relating back to Kwanzaa.

Today is the third day of Kwanzaa, which celebrates the principle of ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility).  The first phrase that came to my mind regarding collective work was “e pluribus unum” which for many years was the de facto motto of the United States.   And so I started to delve into the meaning and origin of “e pluribus unum”, which appears to likely have one of two ancient origins, either Horace or Virgil, that inspired Pierre Antoine Motteux to use it originally as the motto of the Gentleman’s Journal (later borrowed by the Gentleman’s Magazine, and then ultimately used by the United States).

It is the poem from Virgil that I thought had the most connection and synchronicity for today.  In the past geography changed our genetics from our dark skinned ancient greatest grandparents to now have many different skin tones, which is one of the simplistic mechanisms that we often use to identify differences between ourselves and others, leading to racism.  But, it is possible that our future now holds a much more homogeneous future of skin tones, if the current breaking of barriers towards interracial marriage through the world continues, and we don’t have a self-created apocalypse that sets the world back to geographic separate tribes of humans living again for subsistence.

The choice is in each of our hands, we can all accurately choose to see each other as family, and cherish our human family, or the second law of thermodynamics applied to systems may overtake us, where the chaos of a few powered by the technology of tomorrow brings us back to an ignorant age.


* – Regarding the translation, it is my own, combining translations from Joseph J. Mooney, Google Translate, and H. R. Fairclough.

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Written by Jacob Walker

December 28th, 2013 at 11:59 am

Posted in Quotes from Others

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