Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down

Don’t Let Others Get the Better of Us

John Cousins


Illegitimi non carborundum

This is a great quote in fake latin that says “Don’t let the bastards get you down.”

It originated early in World War II in British Army Intelligence. The mock latin phrase was adopted by US Army General “Vinegar” Joe Stilwell as his motto during World War II.

Its another great way of saying, Let It Go. Don’t poison your own experience more than you have to.

You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. True power is sitting back and observing things with logic. True power is restraint. If words control you that means everyone else can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass.

Sitting quietly for twenty minutes focusing on the in and out of deep breathing is a way to practice gaining emotional distance from our noisy thoughts. The pause between experience and our reaction makes all the difference in how we conduct our lives.

Don’t Over React

A caution on the flip side: don’t lash out and counter punch.

The best fighter is never angry.
― Lao Tzu

Our natural immediate reaction is to push back and protect ourselves. That can lead to saying hurtful things in the heat of the moment that we later wish we hadn’t. This poisons relationships. You can’t unring a bell.

Let things cool off before responding. Take a pause for the cause.

You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.