September 4

IF these things are true, and we are not stupid or acting a part when we say that the good or ill of man consists in choice, and that all besides is nothing to us, why are we still troubled? Why do we still fear? What hath been our concern is in no one's power; what is in the power of others we do not regard. What embarrassment have we left?

But direct me.

Why should I direct you? Hath not God directed you? Hath He not given you what is your own, incapable of restraint or hindrance; and what is not your own, liable to both? What directions, then, what orders have you brought from Him? "By all methods keep what is your own: what belongs to others do not covet. Honesty is your own; a sense of virtuous shame is your own. Who, then, can deprive you of these? Who can restrain you from making use of them but yourself? And how do you do it? When you make that your concern which is not your own, you lose what is." Having such precepts and directions from God, what sort do you still want from me? Am I better than He? More worthy of credit? If you observe these, what others do you need? Or are not these directions His?

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §25. ¶1.

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