Do Not be Afraid of Criticism
The wise Epictetus urges us not be afraid of the criticism of others. Only the morally weak feel compelled to defend or explain themselves to others.
Let the quality of your deeds speak for you. We cannot control the impressions of others, and the effort to defend ourselves only debases our character.
Hence, Epictetus suggests that if you hear that somebody has criticized you, do not bother with excuses or defenses. Just smile and say: "I guess that person does not know all my other faults. Otherwise, he would not have mentioned only these."
Anger + Weapons = Disaster
Two cars almost bumped each other while racing towards one parking slot at a cemetery. Instead of being grateful that they had no accident, anger took over the drivers of the two vehicles and they had a heated verbal exchange. Later, one driver shot the rear of the other car with a pistol, killing the pregnant wife of the other driver, and injuring two boys.
In another incident, a housewife had a dispute with her neighbor over a fence. She got a pistol from her handbag and shot the other woman dead.
These are just recent incidents that underscore the danger of anger plus the possession of firearms among private citizens.
The two gun-wielding individuals face the prospect of spending the rest of their lives behind prison bars. They derived no real benefit from shooting the other people dead. The killing did not resolve whatever disputes they were having; it even worsened the problem.
This is the nature of human anger. When it takes over a person, reason and prudence fly out of the window. When a person is in a state of rage, he or she does not think of the consequences anymore.
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