Wednesday

November 7

RICHES are not among the number of things which are good; prodigality is of the number of those which are evil; Rightness of mind, of those which are good. Now, rightness of mind invites to frugality and the acquisition of things that are good; but riches invite to prodigality, and seduce from rightness of mind. It is dilificult, therefore, for a rich person to be right-minded, or a right-minded person rich.

EPICTETUS. FRAGMENTS. 18.

FROM the gods I received that I had good Grandfathers, and Parents, a good Sister, good masters, good domestics, loving kinsmen, almost all that I have; and that I never through haste, and rashness transgressed against any of them, notwithstanding that my disposition was such, as that such a thing (if occasion had been) might very well have been committed by me, but that it was the mercy of the gods, to prevent such a concurring of matters and occasions, as might make me to incur this blame.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book 1. 14.

2 comments:

  1. Riches are an indifferent to the Stoic. It is what we do with riches that makes the moral leap over into good or evil. With rightness of mind, Wisdom, we are able to use indifferents for good rather than evil purposes. We are able to use this Wisdom to allow us to make the correct choices in life to ensure that we are living in a virtuous manner.

    I think it would be difficult for someone who has made themself rich, rather than having inherited wealth, to suddenly change course and make the accumulation of wealth unimportant in their life. I think that someone who has inherited wealth is able to live with stewardship in mind, using their wealth for the greater good. This is what I think is meant when Epictetus says that it is difficult for a rich person to be right-minded, not someone who has inherited their wealth, but someone who has made the accumulation of wealth and prestige their ultimate goal.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It really doesn't matter how much you have, it is what you do with it that proves your quality. Being careful with the resources that are yours to steward for a short time is only right. Miserly hoarding is as wrong as wasteful excess. The way to live virtuously in this is to meet your needs, and the needs of those to whom you have duty and responisibility. Then, with what is left, seek out the truly destitute, and give to them the strength to stand, so that they may learn to walk for themselves. - Inspired by Epictetus

    ReplyDelete