The Art of Living is book written by the Stoic philosopher Epictetus. He was of the first Greek Stoic philosopher to teach what should be common sense “that philosophy is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline.”(Wikipedia).
Today, I would like to make your life so much easier. Instead of reading the 100-ish page book, I have taken the best quotes from the book and posted them here:
- “Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and in a word, whatever are our own actions. Thing not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.”
- “Remember, that not he who gives ill language or a blow insults, but the principle which represents these things as insulting. When, therefore anyone provokes you be assured that it is your own opinion which provokes you.“
- “If a person gave your body to any stranger he met on his way, you would certainly be angry. And do you feel no shame in handing over your own mind to be confused and mystified by anyone who happens to verbally attack you.”
- “In parties of conversation, avoid a frequent and excessive mention of your own actions and dangers. Avoid, likewise, an endeavor to excite laughter. For this is a slippery point, which may throw you into vulgar manners, and, besides may be apt to lessen you in the esteem of your acquaintance.”
- “When any person harms you, or speaks badly of you, remember that he acts or speaks from a supposition of its being his duty. Therefore if he judges from a wrong perspective, he is the person hurt, since he too is the person deceived.”
- “Lastly, never call yourself a philosopher, nor talk a great deal about your philosophy. LIVE BY EXAMPLE. Thus, at entertainment, don’t talk how persons ought to eat, but eat as you ought. Do not show theorems but the actions produced by digesting this knowledge.
At the end of his life Epictetus’s gravestone read: “Here lies Epictetus, a slave maimed in body, the ultimate in poverty, and favored of the gods”
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