The Greek art of living
Greek philosophy about life
What do you think of when you hear “Greeks know how to live!“. What comes to your mind? Possibly "the Greek way of life“ as you imagine it, a kind of natural life in an unspoiled environment. Or probably warm summer evenings in a beach bar.
"Greek Art of Living" represents in fact a very old theme and has occupied Greek thinkers for thousands of years.
There are many proverbs and Greek quotes, which are about this art of living in everyday life, like "Drink and enjoy yourself, life is mortal and the time on earth is short“ (Anakreon) or "a hungry bear does not dance“ (Greek saying).
However, the whole topic is more about world view and wisdom, like "Nobody is happy in everything“ or "there is nothing bad in which there is not also something good“ (Aristophanes).
There is one Greek philosopher, Epictetus (c.50 – c.135AD), who thought that philosophy is a way of life. He was a Stoic and these philosophers opposed the Aristotelian teaching, that science and philosophy are an end in themselves.
Stoics wanted something different, they turned away from a mere theoretical concept and were convinced that wisdom must be shown in practical life.
This led to a great deal of "practical advices“ and many booklets have been published with the most important of Epictetus quotes about life under the title "The art of living“ or "Golden sayings“.
We have collected ten inspiring ones for you. And if you observe well you will also see today much of this everywhere among Greeks.
Epictetus golden sayings about life
- "Happiness consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants”
- “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will”
- “He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at”
- “Nature has given men one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak”
- "No man is free who is not master of himself”
- “If evil be said of thee, and if it be true, correct thyself; if it be a lie, laugh at it”
- "A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope“
- “Asked, who is the rich man? He who is content”
- “We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them”
- "Do not wish that all things will go well with you, but that you will go well with all things”
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