“Doesn’t it seem to you that acting against one’s will, under protest and compulsion, is tantamount to being a slave?” – Epictetus, Discourses, Book 4.1.11
We are all a slave to something: work, drink, drugs, sex, social media. The list can be endless.
We are a slave if we act against our own will, if we are listening to others and not living our own lives.
“All our decisions, impulses, desires, or aversions come from within us. No evil can force its way here.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 8.28
Why do we seek approval of others?
We have to live with ourselves. Only our opinion really matters; however, we are more concerned with others opinions.
“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 12.4
Are you ready to die for your beliefs, your lifestyle? Would you die for what someone else thinks of you?
“Apropos of which, Diogenes says somewhere that one way to guarantee freedom is to be ready to die.” – Epictetus, Discourses, Book 4.1.30
In today’s day and age we may not have to go to those extremes, but the message still carries.
If you are not willing to die for what you do every day, for what you believe in, you are a slave. A slave to someone else’s opinion, a slave to outside forces.
Worry about what you think. Do what you know is right. Have integrity. That will make you free.