Non nobis solum

Non nobis solum

Non nobis solum (Not for ourselves alone) is a Latin motto. A common variation is non nobis, sed omnibus ("not for us, but for everyone"). It means that people should contribute to the general greater good of humanity, apart from their own interests.

The motto is derived from a sentence in Cicero's most influential philosophical work, his treatise On Duties (Latin: De Officiis). In full, Cicero writes, non nobis solum nati sumus ("we are not born for ourselves alone"), Cicero de officiis, 1:22 The sentence, as Cicero himself says, is a literal translation of a sentiment from Plato's Letter to Archytas. Cicero associates this concept with the Stoic ideal of cosmopolitanism, according to which all men have a natural kinship with all other men and need to "contribute to the general good by an interchange of acts of kindness (officia), by giving and receiving" (De officiis 1.22, transl. Walter Miller, 1913).

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