Scale back your long hopesHorace in 65 B.C.E from “Odes “
to a short period. While we
speak, time is envious and
is running away from us.
Seize the day, trusting
little in the future.
Often time the phrase Carpe diem brings to mind the idea of seizing today and not fretting about tomorrow. It has motivated a lot of persons to grabbing opportunities and running with them, while you have the chance to do – because hey everything is transitory. Therefore I would like to add my own voice to the many messages about seizing the day.
The word seizing can be defined as a length of rope or cord used for tying and fastening or to take something quickly and keep or hold it. The latter suggests an impulse which can be dangerous. So, when opportunities come should we take them because we can? The answer is yes. Often times we are too afraid to do something unexpected or that seems hard to do but usually when we are properly informed we can make use of opportunities we never dreamed we would have.
Carpe diem linguistically speaking is also a horticultural metaphor that, particularly seen in the context of the poem [“Odes”], is more accurately translated as “plucking the day. Now that adds to the need to not be lazy about getting on board when faced with new opportunities. Many of us are discouraged by naysayers who think they have live figured out and can see all the trouble waiting just ahead for you. However, our gut instinct never fails us and are often more reliable than those well intention friend or family member.
But going back to the more accurate translation of the expression. Plucking literally refers to picking fruits. And here the past also plays a role. The best time to pick fruits is when they are ripe. So while we may want to pluck the day, we need to do so when the time is right for our fruit; and, not when we see everyone else harvesting! So seize the day but when the time is right to so. Not because we develop a case of F.O.M.O. Yet still while we wait for our fruits to ripen we need to also keep in mind the extended version of the expression:
‘carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero’