Epictetus, from The Handbook


Fortunetellers thrive. But wait:
You know what you want,
don’t you? OK, think—is that
within your power? If not, it’s
neither good nor bad. Yes,

fortunetellers thrive. If you go
to a fortune teller, don’t
take your desires or dislikes along.
If you do, you’ll be worried.

Keep this in mind:
events don’t care
about you, so you
can’t care about events.

What is in your power is to make
of each event what you can.

If you can do that,
go to the fortune teller!

Nature will do as it does do.

Is your nation or your friend in danger?
Share the danger.
That’s the right thing to do.

Does the fortune teller predict disaster?
So? The right thing to do is to
stick with your nation or your friend.

Death? Mutilation?
Reason says to stick
with your friend
and your country.


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