The Curse of Desire

“Anyone who truly wants to be free won’t desire something that is actually in someone else’s control, unless they want to be a slave.” – Epictetus

If Epictetus was right (and I think he was), then it’s critically important to control our desires. Yet I wonder how hard most of us try.

I wonder how many of my desires over the years have been in my control and how many have been in the control of others.

It seems to me our desires change with age. And with that change comes greater independence and freedom. We become less dependent. Less subject to the whims and control of others. I suppose it helps offset the disappointment of the deteriorating body.

But should age have to play such a dominant role? I suspect not.

It seems greater wisdom and freedom at an earlier age would be welcome by all. If not all, by most.

So think about your desires, Vera (when you get old enough to think about more than the present, that is).

Reflect on the things that affect your desires. Do you have control of them? Or are they in someone else’s control?

If the latter, then consider the freedom you’re willing to sacrifice in their pursuit. And whether it’s worth the tradeoff.

Consider what it truly valuable to you. Don’t mindlessly accept the judgments of others in such important matters.

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