August 2

Say What You Will

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression." It is a right that many of us hold dear, and we choose to exercise that right whenever we wish. Nevertheless, we often act surprised, insulted or hurt when others exercise their right to this same freedom. Epictetus, in conversation with a roman procurator, points out the hypocrisy of this stand.


When was the last time you 'spoke your mind?' What were the results? When was the last time you 'held your tongue?' Why did you?

Read The Discourses, Book III, Chapter IV, v. 6-8


    • v6
    • v7
    • v8


    • goals etc. vs intention
    • Select an action or comment (which may include no action at all) that will help to strengthen the relationship you have, while staying true to your own designation.
    • When acting, remember that the results will be out of your control. What will you lose if the relationship is damaged despite your efforts? What are the potential benefits of a strengthened relationship?


This evening, spend a few minutes remembering a relationship that was damaged by your words or actions. Do you remember what precipitated the conflict? What were you hoping to gain or retain? What did you lose as a result of the event? What we the actions you took that did not embody Stoic virtues (even if you were not aware of the virtues at the time)?