doth an adulterer lose? The modest,
the chaste character; the neighbour. What
doth an angry person lose? Something else. A
coward? Something else. No one is wicked without
some loss or damage. Now, if, after all, you
make the loss of money the only damage, all these
are unhurt and undamaged. Nay, it may be, even
gainers; as, by such practices, their money may
possibly be increased. But consider: if you refer
everything to money, the man who loses his nose
is not hurt. Yea, say you, he is maimed in his
body. Well; but doth he, who loses his smell
itself, lose nothing? Is there, then, no faculty of
the soul which he who possesses it is the better
for, and he who parts with it the worse?
What sort do you mean?
Have we not a natural sense of honour?
Doth he who loses this suffer no damage? Is
he deprived of nothing? Doth he part with
nothing that belongs to him? Have we no natural
fidelity? No natural affection? No natural disposition
to mutual usefulness, to mutual forbearance?
Is he, then, who carelessly suffers himself
to be damaged in these respects, unhurt and undamaged
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book ii. §10. ¶5.
Do not measure yourself by the amount of money you have. Consider what you must pay in gaining it. What must you sacrifice to keep it? If you have kept wisdom, justice, temperance, courage and most of all compassion for others, then you will be a steward. But if should be a miser, you will have traded your virtue for money, paying dearly for that which has no value in itself. - Lessons from EpictetusReplyDelete