Never say you’ve lost anything, only that you’ve returned it. A dead child? Returned. A dead spouse? Returned. A home taken away? Returned, too. “But the people who took it away are no good!” It’s not your business what agents the original giver used to get it back. While he leaves things in your keeping, take care of them – not as your own, but the way a civilized traveler treats a hotel room.
Never say about anything, “I have lost it,” but only “I have given it back.” Is your child dead? It has been given back. Is your wife dead? She has been given back. “I have had my farm taken away.” Very well, this too has been given back. “Yet it was a rascal who took it away.” But what concern is it of yours by whose instrumentality the Giver called for its return? So long as He gives it you, take care of it as of a thing that is not your own, as travellers treat their inn.
Never say of anything, ‘I lost it’, but say, ‘I gave it back’. Has your child died? It was given back. Has your wife died? She was given back. Has your estate been taken from you? Was not this also given back? But you say, ‘He who took it from me is wicked’. What does it matter to you through whom the Giver asked it back? As long as He gives it you, take care of it, but not as your own; treat it as passers-by treat an inn.
Never say about anything, I have lost it, but say I have restored it. Is your child dead? It has been restored. Is your wife dead? She has been restored. Has your estate been taken from you? Has not then this also been restored? But he who has taken it from me is a bad man. But what is it to you, by whose hands the giver demanded it back? So long as he may allow you, take care of it as a thing which belongs to another, as travelers do with their inn.
Never in any case say I have lost such a thing, but I have returned it. Is your child dead? it is a return. Is your wife dead? it is a return. Are you deprived of your estate? is not this also a return? But he who deprives me of it is wicked! But what is that to you, through whom the giver demands his own! As long therefore as he grants it to you, steward it like another’s property, as travelers use an inn.
Never say of anything, “I have lost it;” but, ” I have restored it.” Has your child died? It is restored. Has your wife died? She is restored. Has your estate been taken away? That likewise is restored. ” But it was a bad man who took it.” What is it to you by whose hands he who gave it has demanded it again? While he permits you to possess it, hold it as something not your own; as do travellers at an inn.
Never say of anything, “I have lost it”; but, “I have returned it.” Is your child dead? It is returned. Is your wife dead? She is returned. Is your estate taken away? Well, and is not that likewise returned? “But he who took it away is a bad man.” What difference is it to you who the giver assigns to take it back? While he gives it to you to possess, take care of it; but don’t view it as your own, just as travelers view a hotel.
Μηδέποτε ἐπὶ μηδενὸς εἴπῃς ὅτι «ἀπώλεσα αὐτό», ἀλλ’ ὅτι «ἀπέδωκα». τὸ παιδίον ἀπέθανεν; ἀπεδόθη. ἡ γυνὴ ἀπέθανεν; ἀπεδόθη. «τὸ χωρίον ἀφῃρέθην». οὐκοῦν καὶ τοῦτο ἀπεδόθη. «ἀλλὰ κακὸς ὁ ἀφελόμενος». τί δὲ σοὶ μέλει, διὰ τίνος σε ὁ δοὺς ἀπῄτησε; μέχρι δ’ ἂν διδῷ, ὡς ἀλλοτρίου αὐτοῦ ἐπιμελοῦ, ὡς τοῦ πανδοχείου οἱ παριόντες.