“That which is good for the people is good for everybody”.

I remember in the late 70s, Sacro, a very cool but sociable guy I used to know (he was about 12 years older than me) used to always make a toast at some stage when drinking with his buddies, which was very regularly. And the toast was almost always the same, “that which is good for the people is good for everybody” or “what is good for the people is good for everybody“; he used the latter version more often. The meaning or context of the phrase was never challenged by his buddies even though it did not make much sense at the time. In 1978 he went overseas for studies.

I did not see him again till Christmas  1991 when he returned for his father’s funeral and just after a exchanging a few pleasantries with him I asked for the meaning of his favourite toast phrase back in the day. His answer was simple, the correct phrase was “that which is good for the people that matter is good for everybody” the people that mattered were the bourgeoisie and everybody was the proletariat, respectively. He went on to say when the correct phrase for the toast actually did cause offence to some till he dropped the “that matter” from it. Finally, he said he was amazed I took so much interest in such a trivial phrase after such a long time.

When I met him again in 2003 he surprised me by saying the phrase it was probably the quote he would most be remembered for because after our one-off meeting in 1991 he observed that most of his old friends would bring it up in conversation again and again. He was a true bourgeois by then “a man that mattered” but true to his word he quickly built a reputation for being a generous, approachable and just man.

How melodramatic!

Grimot Nane

3 responses

  1. @Bala- please exclude black Africa from your observation. Our people have become so accustomed to all kinds of suffering that they cannot wake up from it. It is not a situation I am happy with. What can we do about it?


  2. Observing the wave of Middle East protests and the disenchantment with the free market status quo all over the globe, I do agree that ”that which is good for the people is good for everybody”. People are waking up to that reality, even if belatedly.


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