A Motto to Live By

Pro Tanto Quid Retribuamus

by Eric Holdeman / February 27, 2019

The following was shared by Oregon State Sen. Arnie Roblan. It was the personal motto of Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, "Pro Tanto Quid Retribuamus,” which means: Having been given much, what will you give in return? He recently passed away.

I had two years of Latin in high school and another two in college. Of the three languages I studied, it was the only one where I really "got the grammar" down. It is also the language I've used the least other than reading military slogans, Semper Fidelis for the Marines and Semper Paratus for the U.S. Coast Guard. 

However, this blog post is not about Latin and languages, it is about the actions behind the motto above. What gifts have you been given? How are you using them these days? One of my passions is information sharing and I use this blog as one outlet and other writings and personal interactions with people. I like the quote, "Wisdom comes from experience and experience from mistakes." It would be terrible to waste all my mistakes and not pass the lessons learned and "just observed" onto others. 

At your passing from this earth, what will people be saying about you? Certainly the brief record of service I read about Dennis Richardson reflects a life in trying to live up to his personal motto. I don't think things like "He made a lot of money" or "They went on some really terrific vacations" is what I want to be known for. Eventually the weeds will invade my garden at home and someone will pave it over for a bocce ball court or some such thing. Physical edifices will fade away. What will endure is what you pour into others. 

"This We'll Defend" is the Army motto. It is so catching that I had to look it up. Too bad they did not use Latin, but then what Army soldier knows Latin these days? I always thought the Army motto was "Don't let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you" as you retired. 

Live a life of service!

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