If you wish to make progress, abandon reasonings of this sort: ‘If I neglect my affairs I shall have nothing to live on’; ‘If I do not punish my son, he will be wicked.’ For it is better to die of hunger, so that you be free from pain and free from fear, than to live in plenty and be troubled in mind. It is better for your son to be wicked than for you to be miserable. Wherefore begin with little things. Is your drop of oil spilt? Is your sup of wine stolen? Say to yourself, ‘This is the price paid for freedom from passion, this is the price of a quiet mind.’ Nothing can be had without a price. When you call your slave-boy, reflect that he may not be able to hear you, and if he hears you, he may not be able to do anything you want. But he is not so well off that it rests with him to give you peace of mind.