IT vexes me, say you, to be pitied. Is this your affair, then, or theirs who pity you? And further: How is it in your power to prevent it? — "It is, if I show them that I do not need pity." But are you now in such a condition as not to need pity, or are you not? — "I think I am. But these people do not pity me for what, if anything, would deserve pity — my faults; but for poverty and want of power, and sicknesses, and deaths, and other things of that kind." Are you, then, prepared to convince the world that none of these things is in reality an evil; but that it is possible for a person to be happy, even when he is poor and without honours and power? Or are you prepared to appear to them rich and powerful? The last of these is the part of an arrogant, silly, worthless fellow.
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §6. ¶1.
You don't want people to think badly of you? Don't you understand that this is not up to you? All you can do is be a person of integrity, courageous, just, temperate, and compassionate. All you can do is be an admirable person. After that, actually being admired is not up to you. - Lessons from Epictetus.ReplyDelete