LET them see to it who pity me. But I am neither hungry, nor thirsty, nor cold. But, because they are hungry and thirsty, they suppose me to be so too. What can I do for them, then ? Am I to go about making proclamation, and saying, Do not deceive yourselves, good people, I am very well: I regard neither poverty, nor want of power, nor anything else, but right principles. These I possess unrestrained. I care for nothing further. — But what trifling is this? How have I right principles when I am not contented to be what I am, but am out of my wits how I shall appear? — But others will get more, and be preferred to me. — Why, what is more reasonable than that they who take pains for anything should get most in that particular in which they take pains? They have taken pains for power; you, for right principles.
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §6. ¶3.
Don't admire me merely for my possessions or status; don't pity me for my lack of these things either. What I have and where I am are merely accidents of fate. I am not only more that these things, I am something completely different from them. I am my actions, and what I intend by those actions. It is what do or do not do that shows my moral strength, my virtue. I bend my effort and energy not to acquire and climb, but to express the full potential of my best self. - Inspired by EpictetusReplyDelete