A manual for life
Epictetus, a widely read Stoic Greek philosopher who died in AD 135, reflected on how one should embrace everything that happens in life. Simply put, if it’s out of your hands and you have no control over it, either pass it by or let it pass you by. If you can affect an event or situation, move in a positive direction.
Epictetus’ own life taught him hard lessons. He was born a slave shortly after Christ’s death, around AD 50, and gained his freedom in his late teens or early twenties. He became known as a professor of philosophy in his adopted home, Rome. None of Epictetus’ writings survived, but his pupil Arrian took notes that later became The Enchiridion (The Manual), his most read work, and The Speeches.
The Stoic philosophy of acceptance is relevant in these difficult times. We encounter conflicts and divisions every day. Mental illness has crept into once pure, stable and idealistic thinking and plagues our interactions with others. As difficult as it is right now, we need to dig deep and change our paradigms. We need to switch to kindness.
May the forces of good be with you.
Patrick J. Wood
Editor and author of the new book “Dear Reader:
Meditations, Reflections and Moments in Time ”available on Amazon.com