“You are the only one who knows yourself – which is to say, you know how much you are worth in your own estimation, and therefore at what price you will sell yourself; because people sell themselves at different rates.” – Epictetus, Discourses, Book 1:2:11
What is your price?
We all have a price. Depending on circumstances the price may change.
Should we look down on a prostitute?
Would you do the same under the circumstances?
I don’t think anyone could say truthfully without walking in their shoes.
You may not sell your body, but you are willing to sell yourself for jobs, friends, etc.
Are you any better?
“Consider at what price you sell your integrity; but please for God’s sake, don’t sell it cheap.” – Epictetus, Discourses, Book 1:2:33
Most people would find selling their body disgusting but they are willing to sell their integrity for nothing.
Which is worse?
“‘But the tyrant will chain…?’ What will he chain? Your leg? ‘He will chop off…?’ What? Your head? What he will never chain or chop off is your integrity.” – Epictetus, Discourses, Book 1:18:17
Life will present you with opportunities to sell your integrity. Are you willing to do that for short term gains?
To what end?
Will you be able to look yourself in the mirror every day?
If you have to make certain decisions to survive, who will judge you?
If you can look yourself in the mirror and know you made the best decision you could then what others think about you doesn’t matter.
Focus on what you can control. Other people’s perceptions of what you have done is not something you can control.
If they haven’t walked in your shoes then their opinion doesn’t matter.
But when you are making those decisions don’t sell your integrity cheap.
Do what you have to do but make sure you can look your self in the mirror afterwards.