Words of Wisdom – 2/19

Remember to conduct yourself in life as if at a banquet.

As something being passed around comes to you, reach out your hand and take a moderate helping.

Does it pass you by? Don’t stop it.

It hasn’t yet come? Don’t burn in desire for it, but wait until it arrives in front of you.

Act this way with children, a spouse, toward position, with wealth—one day it will make you worthy of a banquet with the gods.

– Epictetus

Some people view the words of ancient, long-dead philosophers as quaint, or outdated, and not appropriate to today’s modern world. When I read the above passage, I immediately related this to our current pandemic life.

Isn’t what we faced in the beginning, the concern whether we would have enough that led some to toilet paper hoarding, scooping up all the sanitizing wipes, the masks, well beyond what we needed for the short-term?

The banquet in this quote can be a metaphor for life for the resources and bounty we have in front of us. Will we act in moderation, taking only what we need, knowing the next person needs something too? Or will we clear the “platter” placed before us, as though we are the only ones living on this Earth?

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