“Of all the things that are, some are good, others bad, and yet others indifferent. The good are virtues and all that share in them; the bad are vices and all that indulge them; the indifferent lie in between virtue and vice and include wealth, health, life, death, pleasure, and pain.” – Epictetus, Discourses, 2.19.12b-13
My friend Richard and I were walking to lunch the other day and he asked me if anything was wrong. I seemed, he noted, incredibly reserved and he couldn’t read me very well. Having seen my Daily Stoic book on my desk, he asked if this was the impact of the book.
The day was gorgeous, and I was simply taking in the birds, breeze, clear sky, and good company.
All that you have will disappear. Either while you’re alive, or when you pass. And when you’re gone you won’t care either way. Remember, when Epictetus talks about passions he’s not talking about feelings. Rather, he’s talking about those things that swing us into areas of vice. Those things that push us off our middle path between the excesses that both virtue and vice can bring.