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Epictetus (55-135 CE) Enchiridion
A manual for living a contented life
Rendered by Charles Scamahorn (1935- ) 2014

Paragraph 44

Here are some absurd statements you can ponder: “I have more money than you, so I am better than you,” or “I am more eloquent than you, so I am better than you.” Those are foolish statements, but these are not foolish: “I am richer than you, therefore my possessions are greater” or “I am more eloquent than you, therefore my style is more convincing.” It is easy to observe that a man standing before you is neither his property nor his style; nor are you.


A man is not his possessions or the words coming out of his mouth, but the “Content of his character” to quote Martin Luther King Jr., and that is the idea being discussed throughout this ‘Manual for Living a Contented Life.’ That personal character is created by every individual in their responses to events they encounter in their lives, and these conscious choices form the habits of behavior that make up our character. It is our choice who we choose to become, and we choose that by our conscious choices of our behavior in our daily lives.