One afternoon a couple years back, I found myself brainstorming a motto for GBXM|united. I wanted something simple and elegant distilling our mindset to the bare minimum. Something people would immediately understand. (Something we could put on shirts and stickers and shit.) First, I had to decode the big idea swirling and evolving in my head since 2009. I started breaking it down into single words. Almost immediately, I came up with equality, brotherhood, and freedom.
There was just one small problem with those three words…
It’s Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. The national motto of France. Unless you’re French, you just don’t adopt the French national motto as your own. That’s poor form; at least, for a brand (which is what I’m trying to do, here). Back to Square One, but no less inspired, I pressed on, eventually finding myself on a list of latin phrases and translations. That’s when I came upon this:
Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest
Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself.
Aesop’s fable, “The Frogs Who Desired a King” tells the story of frogs who felt they needed someone in charge. In the end, it was liberty which they valued most. This phrase reminds me being a gearhead is key to freedom. None of us wants to be controlled. We all want to be free. But there are times when we all wish someone else would just tell us exactly what to do. It’s important we remember the slippery slope we’re on every time we wait for someone else to tell us how to do something we want to do.
We gearheads respect each other for being responsible for our machines. We stick together. And we support each other’s independence. Sounds an awful lot like equality, brotherhood, freedom. But I’m not ready to to go French. At the same time, Latin isn’t exactly simple, though I bet it would look classy as hell on those shirts (and shit).
Do you have a motto? What do you think of this one?
featured image: Mechanic, Bill Villalobos, Flickr CC