Wisdom from 400 A.D. (in less than 400 words)

It was graduation weekend at Villanova, which meant there was a good chance one of the speakers was going to quote St. Augustine.

A couple of the people did mention my favorite quote attributed to Augustine (at separate commencement events, fortunately).

Here is the quote (at least one translation of it):

Always be dissatisfied with what you are, if you want to arrive at what you are not yet. Because whenever you are satisfied with yourself, there you have stuck. If, though, you say, “That’s enough, that’s the lot,” then you’ve even perished. Always add some more, always keep on walking, always forge ahead.

It’s a perfect quote to bring up at graduation. but in reality, it’s perfect for any situation.

The words are encouraging, perhaps even admonishing, us to always improve ourselves, to not get complacent.

So as a few of the speakers pointed out, just because you are graduating college, that does not mean you are finished learning. Learning should be a life-long quest. And St. Augustine recognized this over 1600 years ago.

And even though no one gave this advice, I’ll offer it now – listen to your elders, particularly your 1600-year-old elders.


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