49. Anytime someone is showing off because he understands Chrysippus,* say to yourself: “If Chrysippus hadn’t written such difficult stuff this guy would have nothing to say.” Seriously, what do you want? You want to understand nature and to follow her. So I ask—who interprets nature? Well: I hear that Chrysippus does. But I just … More Epictetus: Are you an interpreter or a philosopher?
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 … More Epictetus on Walking the Walk
Don’t buy this reasoning: “I’m richer than you, therefore I’m better.” “I’m more eloquent than you, therefore I’m better.” Here is reasoning: “I’m richer than you, therefore I have more stuff.” “I’m more eloquent than you, therefore I speak better.” Remember what you are. You are not money; you are not fancy words.
40. Praise beauty and that’s what’s prized. Praise justice and the same thing happens.
39. Just as a foot fills up its shoe, your body is as far as your possessions go. Stop there and you’ve measured rightly. Go further and . . . go over a cliff– Just as a shoe loses purpose when first it’s purple; then gilded; then covered in jewels. After something goes beyond mere … More On Stopping with Enough, from the Handbook by Epictetus