Arrogance is normally a banal mask of cowardice

Epictietus (AD 55 – AD 135) was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave in Greece, lived in Rome and was expelled and exiled to his homeland where he lived for most of his life.

During his exile, he created a way of teaching his disciples. Below, an excerpt of his book Discourses:

“Two things may happen when we meet someone: either we become friends or we try to convince this person to accept our convictions. The same happens when a live coal touches another piece of coal: it either shares its fire with it or it becomes suffocated for its size and ends up extinguished.”

“As generally we are insecure at first contact, we try showing indifference, arrogance or excessive humbleness. The result is that we stop being ourselves and things begin to stray toward a strange world that doesn’t belong to us.

“In order to avoid this to happen, allow your good feelings to be noticed right away. Arrogance is normally a banal mask of cowardice, but it ends up preventing important things from blossoming in your life.”