Another thing to cope with is that life is very likely to provide terrible blows, unfair blows. Some people recover, and others don't. And there I think the attitude of Epictetus helps guide one to the right reaction. He thought that every mischance in life, however bad, created an opportunity to behave well. He believed every mischance provided an opportunity to learn something useful. And one's duty was not to become immersed in self-pity, but to utilize each terrible blow in a constructive fashion. His ideas were very sound, influencing the best of the Roman emperors, Marcus Aurelius, and many others over many centuries. And you may remember the epitaph that Epictetus made for himself: "Here lies Epictetus, a slave, maimed in body, the ultimate in poverty, and favored by the Gods." Well, that's the way Epictetus is now remembered. “Favored by the Gods.” He was favored because he became wise, became manly, and instructed others, both in his own time and over following centuries.

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