more from Epictetus

Single Idea 23365

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / f. Compassion]

Full Idea

When you see someone weeping is sorrow …do not shrink from sympathising with him, and even groaning with him, but be careful not to groan inwardly too.

Gist of Idea

If someone is weeping, you should sympathise and help, but not share his suffering


Epictetus (The Handbook [Encheiridion] [c.58], 16)

Book Reference

Epictetus: 'The Discourses, The Handbook, Fragments', ed/tr. Gill,C [Everyman 1995], p.292

A Reaction

The point is that the person's suffering is an 'indifferent' because nothing can be done about it, and we should only really care about what we are able to choose. He is not opposed to the man's suffering, or his need for support.