Tuesday

January 31

I AM persuaded there must be someone among you who sit here that feels secret pangs of impatience, and says: "When will such a difficulty come to my share as hath now fallen to his? Must I sit wasting my life in a corner when I might be crowned at Olympia? When will anyone bring the news of such a combat for me?" Such should be the disposition of you all. Even among the gladiators of Caesar there are some who bear it very ill, that they are not brought upon the stage and matched; and who offer vows to God, and address the officers, begging to fight. And will none among you appear such? I would willingly take a voyage on purpose to see how a champion of mine acts; how he treats his subject. "I do not choose such a subject," say you. Is it in your power, then, to take what subject you choose? Such a body is given you; such parents, such brothers, such a country, and such a rank in it; and then you come to me and say: "Change my subject." Besides, have not you abilities to manage that which is given you?

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book i. §29. ¶6.

3 comments:

  1. We have a responsibility to take the initiative in our life. Choose our course and make right actions to achieve our goal. We are the captain of our ship and need to steer it into the course of our choosing.

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  2. This is the body you have; these your parents, those your brothers, this your country, and these your roles and responsibilities; and then you beg and cry for change, for yet greater things, for more honour and respect. Why, when you have not yet managed that which is already given to you? - Lessons from Epictetus

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  3. What if the circumstances in life are less important than how we face them; how we respond, how we act? Then should we not yearn for opportunity to be tried, knowing that trial brings strength and fullness? Thus fearlessness gives birth to boldness.

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