Jul 13 2012
This is the motto of the modern Olympic Games, as we all know. Even though its official version is in Latin (“Citius, Altius, Fortius”), it apparently only goes back to the year 1894, when the International Olympic Committee was formed.
I have noted that with reference to the games in London (starting in a few days), it now appears as “Faster, Higher, Stronger”. What is this? I can only surmise that some sensitive persons somewhere have determined that the vocabulary range of present-day English speakers has deteriorated sufficiently that most people don’t know what “swift” means, and the motto has been dumbed down accordingly. Yes… this is astonishing.
To muddy the waters even further, I picked up a brochure from Millennium BCP this morning encouraging me to make an “Olympic deposit”, and the motto there appears as “Mais Alto, Mais Forte, Mais Longe” (i.e., Higher, Stronger, Further). In Portugal, it seems, faster has thus yielded to further, and lost its leading position. Always seeking the learning opportunity, let us dwell optimistically on this.
Finishing first, Aesop’s famous turtle teaches us, does not depend upon one’s speed – nor is it necessary to be out in front. What matters is going the distance. Portugal’s economy is slow – OK – but a gold medal does lie ahead, and it is there for those who simply plod persistently forward. In other words… tough it out… go the distance… and get there!
As every athlete in the world knows, “no pain… no gain”.
Let us add a note about that Olympic gold medal, and the operative word “gold.” Is there a return to a monetary gold standard somewhere in the global future? Some say “impossible” – I say “stay tuned.” I recall many voices saying that Lehman Brothers (and others) were too big to fail. “Impossible,” they said. How swiftly they changed their tune.