Enchiridion Chapter 17 / 53
So much in life depends on the luck we are dealt.
We do not choose our genetics, our body, our brain, or our parents.
We don’t decide what time or location we are born into.
We don’t decide if we grow up poor or rich, or whether we are handsome or unattractive.
We don’t choose if we are susceptible to deadly diseases or if we will be the victim of a freak accident.
How can we maintain peace of mind when so much of our life is outside of our control?
Life As a Movie Analogy
You are an actor in a movie, and the way the movie unfolds is up to the director.
If the director wants the movie to be short, it will be short. If the director wants the movie to be long, it will be long.
If you are a great actor, you will play whatever role is given to you with impartial skill.
You can play a cripple, a poor person, a president, or an ordinary person—all just the same, and all just as interesting.
Accept that you cannot take ownership over all parts of your life, and resolve to play your part as well as you can.
ENCHIRIDION CHAPTER SEVENTEEN, EPICTETUS, TRANSLATION BY ROBERT DOBBIN:
Remember that you are an actor in a play, the nature of which is up to the director to decide. If he wants the play to be short, it will be short, if he wants it long, it will be long. And if he casts you as one of the poor, or as a cripple, as a king or as a commoner – whatever role is assigned, the accomplished actor will accept and perform it with impartial skill. But the assignment of roles belongs to another.