When you see a person weeping in sorrow either when a. child goes abroad or when he is dead, or when the man has lost his property, take care that the appearance do not hurry you away with it, as if he were suffering in external things.1 But straightway make a distinction in your own mind, and be in readiness to say, it is not that which has happened that afflicts this man, for it does not afflict another, but it is the opinion about this thing which afflicts the man. So far as words then do not be unwilling to show him sympathy,2 and even if it happens so, to lament with him. But take care that you do not. lament internally also.
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The Encheiridion, or Manual.
1 This is obscure. 'It is true that the man is wretched, not because of the things external which have happened to him, but through the fact that he allows himself to be affected so much by external things which are placed out of his power.' Schweig.
2 It has been objected to Epictetus that he expresses no sympathy with those who suffer sorrow. But here he tells you to show sympathy, a thing which comforts most people. But it would be contrary to hi. teaching, if he told you to suffer mentally with another.
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