September 15

AND when you are thus prepared and thus exercised to distinguish what belongs to others from your own; what is liable to restraint from what is not; to esteem your own property, the other not; to keep your desire, to keep your aversion carefully turned to this point; whom have you any longer to fear? — "No one." For about what should you be afraid? About what is your own, in which consists the essence of good and evil? And who hath any power over this? Who can take it away? Who can hinder you? No more than God can be hindered. But are you afraid for body, for possessions, for what belongs to others, for what is nothing to you? And what have you been studying all this while, but to distinguish between your own and not your own; what is in your power and what is not in your power; what is liable to restraint and what is not?

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §1. ¶12.


  1. Who can hinder me? Who can make me act or desire? I am the one who has control over my actions and my desires. Ultimately the decisions are mine in any situation. I can choose death if necessary in order to save another or preserve virtuous action. My choices are my own and that is all we truly have in life. Correct choices based on virtuous means.

  2. What is fear but the desire to avoid an event? But we should only try to avoid what actually can be avoided, for if we try to change the unchangeable, we are pouring our lives into an abyss. So when you look at your fears, determine which event you are trying to avoid. Then ask yourself if this is a thing you can avoid at all. If not, release the fear. If so, then this is where your virtue lives. - Inspired by Epictetus