Epictetus on Walking the Walk

46.

Don’t declare yourself a philosopher
or talk about all your principles;
walk the walk instead.

At dinner, don’t discourse
on the proper way to eat.
Just eat.

Here’s how Socrates did it:
When someone asked Socrates
to introduce him to a particular
famous philosopher, he did it
without thinking “I’m better.”

When the ignorant discuss
deep matters, bite your tongue.
Don’t vomit what
you haven’t chewed.

When you are told you’re ignorant
and you manage to be unruffled,
you know your practice is working.

Sheep don’t vomit up all
the grass they’ve eaten
merely to show the shepherds
how much they’ve eaten.

No, they digest their food
and turn it to wool and milk.

Just so, keep your principles
digesting and show them
as what they have become.

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