Category Archives: Proverbs

Wisdom du jour V

georgebernardshaw385438I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a bit tired of regurgitating Epictetus, only to discover that we haven’t learned a darn thing in two thousand years.

Let’s cross over to the wit of the Irish– as, for example, George Bernard Shaw’s.

I just may have to use that quote in my next workshop on communication (if I remember to communicate to potential attendees that there will be a workshop).








Wisdom du jour IV

Epictetus has been relegated to the back burner. (Don’t worry, Tetus. Epicurus is just a fling.)

Welcome to the winsome, wanton world of Epicurus! (Had a rough night, Curus?)


The Stoics did not care for Epicurus and his pleasure-seeking philosophy, which they viewed as the self-indulgent pursuit of unbridled debauchery. That was not, however,  how Epicurus saw it.

“When we say, then, that pleasure is the end and aim, we do not mean the pleasures of the prodigal or the pleasures of sensuality, as we are understood to do by some through ignorance, prejudice, or willful misrepresentation. By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul.”

Epicurus, Letter to Menoeceus

So that’s what he meant!


Wisdom du jour III

Epictetus is back.

“It shows a lack of refinement to spend a lot of time exercising, eating, drinking, defecating or copulating. Tending to the body’s needs should be done incidentally, as it were; the mind and its functions require the bulk of our attention.”

(Enchiridion, ch. 41)

Poor Epictetus! He couldn’t have imagined how controversial his words would sound, two thousand years later, to those of us living in an Epicurean, hyper-sexualized society that is obsessed, in equal parts, with exercise and elimination.

Wisdom du jour II


Epictetus (photo credit: wikipedia)

Epictetus (photo credit: wikipedia)

As we transition from snow days to tax days, it seems appropriate to quote our friendly philosopher, Epictetus, on the subject of wealth.

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” 

Should we alert Macy’s, Bloomies and Abercrombie?







Wisdom du jour

My favorite philosopher lived two thousand (yes, two thousand) years ago. His name is Epictetus and he was the go-to guy among the chiton-clad crowd of men pacing up and down the agora exchanging ideas while the womenfolk stayed home and prepared moussaka. Epictetus, son of a slave, developed his own Stoicism-imbued brand of philosophy, which resonates with me, a 21st-century woman in the US of A who never darned her husband’s socks–and never will!

Here goes:

“Do not seek to have events happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do happen, and all will be well with you.”