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The Epictetus Challenge

This message echoes down to us from two millennia past:

“How long will you put off demanding the best of yourself? When will you use reason to decide what is best? You now know the principles. You claim to understand them. Then why aren’t you putting these principles into practice? What kind of teacher are you waiting for?

“You are not a child anymore; you are fully grown. Don’t be lazy and give excuse after excuse. If you continue to do this, your lack of progress may be hidden but, in the end, you will have lived a mediocre life.

“Decide that you are an adult, and you are going to devote the rest of your life to making progress. Stick closely to what is best. If you are distracted by pleasure or pain, glory or disrepute, realize that the time is now. The game has started and waiting any further is not an option. Win or lose will be decided today. Use reason to meet every challenge.”
--Epictetus, from “The Good Life Handbook”

Never has the world been in more need for the inspiration of moral leadership. Never has moral leadership been more wanting.

As aspiring Knights, we recognize the dynamics of Nature’s Law, the importance of being guided by conscience and reason and respect for truth. It is therefore our obligation to bring these qualities to life and inspire others to do likewise. We must not assume that it will come from somewhere else, some politician or religious leader or social activist.

The obligation is ours. Why? Because we see it when others do not. We are not given to conspiracy theories and lies. Greed is anathema to our beliefs, and chivalry instills in us the desire to support what is right and good.

The quest starts where it will. Why not here? Now?



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