A Handbook for Life
Epictetus, a widely-read Greek Stoic philosopher who died in 135 AD, reflected on how one should embrace whatever happens in life. Simply put, if it’s out of your hands and you have no control over it, pass on by or let it pass you by. If you can affect an event or situation, then engage in some positive direction.
Epictetus’s own life taught him some hard lessons. He was born a slave shortly after the death of Christ, around 50 AD, and gained his freedom sometime in his late teens or early 20s. He rose to prominence as a teacher of philosophy in his adoptive home, Rome. None of Epictetus’s writings survived, but his student Arrian took notes that later became The Enchiridion (The Handbook), his most widely-read work, and The Discourses.
The Stoic philosophy of acceptance is relevant in these difficult times. We encounter conflict and divisiveness every day. Mental illness has crept into once pure, stable and idealistic thinking and poisons our interactions with others. As hard as it is right now, we need to dig deep and shift our paradigms. We need to pivot to kindness.
May the forces of goodness be with you.
Patrick J. Wood
Publisher and author of the newly released book “Dear Reader:
Meditations, Musings And Moments In Time” available on Amazon.com