August 31

BY placing over against you the imitation of great and good men, you will conquer any appearance, and not be drawn away by it. But, in the first place, be not hurried along with it, by its hasty vehemence: but say, Appearance, wait for me a little. Let me see what you are, and what you represent. Let me try you. Then, afterwards, do not suffer it to go on drawing gay pictures of what will follow : if you do, it will lead you wherever it pleases. But rather oppose to it some good and noble appearance, and banish this base and sordid one. If you are habituated to this kind of exercise, you will see what shoulders, what nerves, what sinews, you will have. But now it is mere trifling talk, and nothing more. He is the true practitioner who exercises himself against such appearances as these.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book ii. §18, ¶5.


  1. Life needs to be based on a realistic foundation. One can make plans based on perceptions and dreams but more often than not the reality will not live up to the dream, once the plan is accomplished. Many times we are disappointed because we have set up false expectations. If we base our lives in reality we awake and find beauty all around us in even the most simple of things.

  2. Why do you wish the past was different, and why pretend the present isn't as it is. How can you hope to build a better future, to attempt to bring justice, moderation, and compassion to this world, when it isn't even this world that you live in? First acknowledge the things that were, and that are, accepting them as fact. Then plan and execute your virtuous actions. Then, learn again what the world is really like, and begin again. - Inspired by Epictetus