Events don’t disturb us; it’s the attitudes we take toward events that disturb us. For example, death isn’t terrible, or it would have seemed that way to Socrates; it’s the idea that death is terrible that’s terrible. So when we’re hindered or disturbed or saddened, let’s not blame others but rather our own opinions. It’s the ignorant person who blames others for her or his troubles, the person with a little training who blames only herself or himself, and the well-instructed person who blames no one.
It is not the things themselves that disturb men, but their judgements about these things. For example, death is nothing dreadful, or else Socrates too would have thought so, but the judgement that death is dreadful, this is the dreadful thing. When, therefore, we are hindered, or disturbed, or grieved, let us never blame anyone but ourselves, that means, our own judgements. It is the part of an uneducated person to blame others where he himself fares ill; to blame himself is the part of one whose education has begun; to blame neither another nor his own self is the part of one whose education is already complete.
What disturbs men’s minds is not events but their judgements on events: For instance, death is nothing dreadful, or else Socrates would have thought it so. No, the only dreadful thing about it is men’s judgement that it is dreadful. And so when we are hindered, or disturbed, or distressed, let us never lay the blame on others, but on ourselves, that is, on our own judgements. To accuse others for one’s own misfortunes is a sign of want of education; to accuse oneself shows that one’s education has begun; to accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one’s education is complete.
Men are disturbed not by the things which happen, but by the opinions about the things: for example, death is nothing terrible, for if it were, it would have seemed so to Socrates; for the opinion about death, that it is terrible, is the terrible thing. When then, we are impeded or disturbed or grieved, let us never blame others, but ourselves, that is, our opinions. It is the act of an ill-instructed man to blame others for his own bad condition; it is the act of one who has begun to be instructed, to lay the blame on himself; and of one whose instruction is completed, neither to blame another, nor himself.
It is not things in themselves, but the opinions held about them which trouble and confuse our minds. Thus, Death is not really terrible — if it were so it would have appeared so to Socrates— but the opinion about Death, that it is terrible, that it is wherein the terror lies. Wherefore when we are hindered, or confounded, or grieved, let us never cast the blame upon others, but upon our selves; that is, on our opinions of things. A man untaught in philosophy accuses others on the score of his misfortunes; he who has begun to be taught accuses himself; he who is fully taught, neither others nor himself.
Men are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of things. Thus death is nothing terrible, else it would have appeared so to Socrates. But the terror consists in our notion of death, that it is terrible. When, therefore, we are hindered, or disturbed, or grieved, let us never impute it to others, but to ourselves; that is, to our own views. It is the action of an uninstructed person to reproach others for his own misfortunes; of one entering upon instruction, to reproach himself; and of one perfectly instructed, to reproach neither others nor himself.
Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things. Death, for instance, is not terrible, else it would have appeared so to Socrates. But the terror consists in our notion of death that it is terrible. When therefore we are hindered, or disturbed, or grieved, let us never attribute it to others, but to ourselves; that is, to our own principles. An uninstructed person will lay the fault of his own bad condition upon others. Someone just starting instruction will lay the fault on himself. Some who is perfectly instructed will place blame neither on others nor on himself.
Ταράσσει τοὺς ἀνθρώπους οὐ τὰ πράγματα, ἀλλὰ τὰ περὶ τῶν πραγμάτων δόγματα: οἷον ὁ θάνατος οὐδὲν δεινόν ἐπεὶ καὶ Σωκράτει ἂν ἐφαίνετο, ἀλλὰ τὸ δόγμα τὸ περὶ τοῦ θανάτου, διότι δεινόν, ἐκεῖνο τὸ δεινόν ἐστιν. ὅταν οὖν ἐμποδιζώμεθα ἢ ταρασσώμεθα ἢ λυπώμεθα, μηδέποτε ἄλλον αἰτιώμεθα, ἀλλ’ ἑαυτούς, τοῦτ’ ἔστι τὰ ἑαυτῶν δόγματα. ἀπαιδεύτου ἔργον τὸ ἄλλοις ἐγκαλεῖν, ἐφ’ οἷς αὐτὸς πράσσει κακῶς: ἠργμένου παιδεύεσθαι τὸ ἑαυτῷ: πεπαιδευμένου τὸ μήτε ἄλλῳ μήτε ἑαυτῷ.