Thursday, 7 July 2011


Latin phrase from 23 BC still as relevant today

‘Make the most of every day’ has been named as the nation’s favourite piece of advice, in a new survey conducted by UK health and social care charity, Jewish Care.

The phrase, often referred to as ‘Carpe Diem’, is over 2000 years old and topped the poll with 29 per cent of Brits voting it the most valuable pearl of wisdom handed down from older generations. ‘Believe in yourself and be brave’ came in second place, voted as essential life advice for 16 per cent of people, followed by ‘having no regrets' (12 per cent) and ‘never stop learning’ (10 per cent).

These wise words, which were shared by a group of 14 elderly care home residents for Jewish Care’s ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ viral campaign, were ranked in order of importance by 1000 respondents. The top five pearls also included ‘do not judge any man until you have stood in his shoes’ – voted for by 9 per cent of respondents.

Surprisingly, having sex before marriage came last on the list, which calls into question the perceived promiscuity of younger generations. However it does appear that respondents have not learnt from the recent failings of the economy, with only 3 percent of those questioned placing importance on the need to ‘only spend what they can afford’.

The candid group, aged between 83 and 100 (with a combined 1,271 years between them) became the latest unlikely stars of the web after the ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ video was spotted on Twitter by a host of celebrities including Jonathan Ross, Sarah Brown, Claudia Winkleman and Lord Alan Sugar. Watch the films on YouTube at

Our top ten favourite words of wisdom were revealed as:
1. Make the most of every day: 29%
2. Believe in yourself and be brave: 16%
3. Don’t regret a thing: 12%
4. Never stop learning: 10%
5. Don’t judge any man until you have stood in his shoes: 9%
6. Each day you spend leaves you with one less, so spend them wisely: 8%
7. Take care of your friends, you never know when you might need them: 6%
8. Always look forward, but every so often take a glance back: 5%
9. Don’t buy things that you can’t afford: 3%
10. Have sex before marriage! Try it out: 2%


Frank PR 0207 693 6999

Notes to editors:

Jewish Care is the largest health and social care charity for the UK’s Jewish community, caring directly for over 7,000 people every week. Jewish Care runs 70 centres and specialist services throughout London and the South-East. The organisation provides a wide range of services for people who are elderly, mentally ill, physically disabled, visually impaired, as well as Holocaust survivors and refugees. Jewish Care also offers support and guidance to families, carers and the bereaved, as well as programmes for children and young people.

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