above all, the ruling faculty of a Cynic must be purer than the sun, otherwise he must necessarily be a common cheat, and a rascal, if, while he is guilty of some vice himself, he reproves others. For, consider how the case stands. Arms and guards give a power to common kings and tyrants of reproving and of punishing delinquents, though they are wicked themselves; but to a Cynic, instead of arms and guards, conscience gives this power, when he knows that he hath watched and laboured for mankind; that he hath slept pure, and waked still purer; and that he hath regulated all his thoughts as the friend, as the minister of the gods, as a partner of the empire of Jupiter; that he is ready to say upon all occasions.
Conduct me, Jove; and thou, O Destiny.
And, "If it thus pleases the gods, thus let it be." Why should he not dare to speak boldly to his own brethren, to his children; in a word, to his kindred?
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §22. ¶13.
When you see evil, you should cry against it, and rightly so. Restrain the tyrant, make your leaders accountable. Do not forget, however, to look within yourself. The accuser also stands accused. We should say, "As you are, so am I. Let us improve each other." - Lessons from Epictetus.ReplyDelete