September 17

UPON every accident, remember to turn towards yourself and inquire what powers you have for making a proper use of it. If you see a handsome person, you will find continence a power against this: if pain be presented to you, you will find fortitude: if ill language, you will find patience. And thus habituated, the appearances of things will not hurry you away along with them.


BE not elated on any excellence not your own. If a horse should be elated and say, "I am handsome," it would be supportable. But when you are elated, and say, "I have a handsome horse," know that you are elated on what is, in fact, only the good of the horse.


1 comment:

  1. Don't be too proud of excellence that is not your own. If a beautiful car could say, "I am beautiful," it would be supportable. But when you are proud, and say, "I have a beautiful car," don't you realize that you are talking about the qualities of the car, and not your your own qualities? You are not any more virtuous for having that car. - Lessons from Epictetus

    When we can show that we are good caretakers, responsible, moderate and careful with the objects we have temporary responsibility for, then we are showing our own character. When we take pride in possession though, we forget that we own nothing, and have placed our value in that which neither cares for us, nor have any control over. We make our lives about those things that don't matter, and the ignore the things that do.