A comment from Mr. Marcus T. Cicero, and a movie about Mr. A. Lincoln



A note from Nick Danger Rakich on Facebook called my attention to a quotation from Marcus Tullius Cicero, whom I recently heard cited in a sacrament meeting talk as “Marcus T. Cicero,” which gave me a chuckle:


“I have always been of the opinion,” said Cicero, “that unpopularity earned by doing what is right is not unpopularity at all, but glory.”


A lofty sentiment, with which I completely agree.


Of course, he was declared an enemy of the state and assassinated in 43 BC.


Which reminds me:  My wife and I saw Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln with a friend on Friday night.  It’s a fine film, and there are many who think that Daniel Day-Lewis has a lock on an Academy Award.  They may well be right.


As I was watching the movie, though, I kept thinking about the statement often attributed to Otto von Bismarck:  Je weniger die Leute darüber wissen, wie Würste und Gesetze gemacht werden, desto besser schlafen sie nachts (“The less people know about the way sausages and laws are made, the better they sleep at night”).  It’s probably not authentic, but it’s certainly true.


– Daniel C. Peterson



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  • Troy

    Ahhh yes, I enjoy that quote by Cicero.

    It is however worth noting that the difference line between doing what is “right” and simply thinking you are doing what is “right” is razor thin and not easily walked.

    • danpeterson

      I agree that the line is — as, geometrically speaking, lines always are — is extremely thin.

      I don’t agree, though, with the implication that one who is doing what he or she thinks right must necessarily be walking on that line.

  • http://www.nathanshumate.com The Only True and Living Nathan

    I wonder if the Bismarck quote also holds true regarding the making of cream-filled bismarcks…