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2012: ANNUIT COEPTIS

Posted by Roberto Macedo Alves on Jan 1, 2012 in Rants

How many of us have looked at 1-dollar bills? Taking a closer look to the back of the  bill, on the reverse side of the Great Seal we can see << (…) “an eye in a triangle, surrounded with a glory . . . Over the eye, these words, Annuit Coeptis.”

This Latin phrase has been traced to Virgil, the renowned Roman poet who lived in the first century B.C. In his epic masterpiece, the Aeneid, he tells the story of Aeneas – son of Venus, ancestral hero of the Romans – and his journey from Troy to Italy.

In book IX, line 625, is the phrase: “Jupiter omnipotens, audacibus annue coeptis.” (All-powerful Jupiter, favor [my] daring undertakings.) Also, in Virgil’s Georgics (book I, line 40) are the words: “Da facilem cursum, atque audacibus annue coeptis.” (Give [me] an easy course, and favor [my] daring undertakings.)>> (source here)

What does this mean? Annuit Coeptis means “Providence has favored our undertakings“.

Whose undertakings? I have no idea, but from time to time I like to look at the symbol and imagine that sentence applies to OUR undertakings.

Looking at the back of a bill on the first day of the year may look like a superstition (as wearing red, using gold jewellery, eating 12 grapes and so many other habits like that) – but what is a superstition? maybe it is nothing more than a ritual repeated religiously. Maybe these habits – or in this case, the particular habit of looking to a 1-dollar bill (and the faith we invest in this action), converts it into something that provides us with comfort and strength.

This could be relevant in business deals. Why? Every business deal is an act of courage and faith. And maybe a little printed green reassurance goes a long way.

2012 has been “sold” to us as a threatening year – so, maybe these small gestures can help us to convert the chemistry of pesismism into optimism, faith and hope for the future.

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