April 28

Considering Lilies

We are often caught up in the effort to 'make our ends meet' in the monthly round of income and expense. But for some, it has become a game of ever increasing desire for the latest technical gadget, dream holiday, or fashionable clothing. In this fragment, Epictetus advises us to stop and smell the roses in our own backyards.


Do you have a storage area that is overflowing with unused objects? A drawer full of gadgets or toys? Pause a moment to think about when you acquired them, and why they may have fallen into disuse.

Read Epictetus: Fragment 17


    • Why does Epictetus choose the imagery of a banquet to illustrate his point?
    • Is Epictetus suggesting that we should not work to acquire things that we do not possess?
    • What is Epictetus implying about the 'many thing' we actually have? Are all the things we have actually all 'things'?


    • How are you caring for and maintaining the 'many things' you already have? Plan to focus more time and effort in areas when there has been neglect.
    • Watch for the effect that advertising is trying to create. Is there an underlying message regarding your current possessions?


In your journal, list a few things that you are planning to acquire in the near future. Next examine what you already have. Are there any areas that, with a reasonable amount of effort, might overlap? Are there specific purposes or goals for the intended acquisition?