The Epicurus Challenge

Many of our customers may not be aware of the fact that a recent string of unfortunate events have prevented Epicurus from roaming the streets of Pasadena on a regular basis.  Without pointing fingers at those who are to blame, we’d prefer to use this social platform as a teaching moment.

Epicurus was one of the most important figures in history, yet few are aware of his accomplishments.  He was considered a social outcast by many because his ideas were lightyears ahead of his time.  Most importantly, love for others was his social compass.  He was a pioneer, a leader in the truest sense.  Strong leaders act on the basis of understanding and inner convictions, even if they have to stand alone.

Below are some of the greatest quotes from Epicurus.  Our Christmas wish is for you to choose a quote that means the most to you and to make this quote your mission for 2015.  The secret to happiness is found in self-exploration.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  If you decide to take the Epicurus challenge, beep your horn twice when you see us on the road.  We’d love to hear your commitment to making a difference.

Dr. John Hofmann

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Epicurus Quotes:

You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

 

The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it.
It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us, as the confidence of their help.

 

Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.

 

If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires.

 

Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.

 

Misfortune seldom intrudes upon the wise man; his greatest and highest interests are directed by reason throughout the course of life.

 

Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempest.

 

It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly. And it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life.

 

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

 

The wealth required by nature is limited and is easy to procure; but the wealth required by vain ideals extends to infinity.

 

Of all the means to insure happiness throughout the whole life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends.

 

He who is not satisfied with a little, is satisfied with nothing.

 

He who says either that the time for philosophy has not yet come or that it has passed is like someone who says that the time for happiness has not yet come or that it has passed.

 

We must, therefore, pursue the things that make for happiness, seeing that when happiness is present, we have everything; but when it is absent, we do everything to possess it.

 

He who has peace of mind disturbs neither himself nor another.

 

To eat and drink without a friend is to devour like the lion and the wolf.

 

Empty is the argument of the philosopher which does not relieve any human suffering.

 

The fool’s life is empty of gratitude and full of fears; its course lies wholly toward the future.

 

Let no one delay the study of philosophy while young nor weary of it when old.

 

Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance.

 

The wise man who has become accustomed to necessities knows better how to share with others than how to take from them, so great a treasure of self-sufficiency has he found.

 

It is not the pretended but the real pursuit of philosophy that is needed for we do not need the appearance of good health but to enjoy it in truth.

 

A happy and eternal being has no trouble himself and brings no trouble upon any other being; hence he is exempt from movements of anger and partiality, for every such movement implies weakness.

 

Self-sufficiency is the greatest of all wealth.

 

Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search of it when he has grown old. For no age is too early or too late for the health of the soul.

 

He who is not satisfied with a little, is satisfied with nothing.

 

If a man makes a law and it does not prove to be mutually advantageous, then this is no longer just.

 

Where without any change in circumstances the things held to be just by law are seen not to correspond with the concept of justice in actual practice, such laws are not really just.

 

Of our desires some are natural and necessary, others are natural but not necessary; and others are neither natural nor necessary, but are due to groundless opinion.

 

Injustice is not an evil in itself, but only in consequence of the fear which is associated with the apprehension of being discovered by those appointed to punish such actions.

 

It is impossible for a man who secretly violates the terms of the agreement not to harm or be harmed to feel confident that he will remain undiscovered, even if he has already escaped ten thousand times; for until his death he is never sure that he will not be detected.

 

In general justice is the same for all, for it is something found mutually beneficial in men’s dealings, but in its application to particular places or other circumstances the same thing is not necessarily just for everyone.

 

For an aggressor to be undetected is difficult; and for him to be confident that his concealment will continue is impossible.

 

No one chooses a thing seeing that it is evil; but being lured by it when it appears good in comparison to a greater evil, he is caught.

 

He has become an old man on the day on which he forgot his past blessings.

 

Every friendship in itself is to be desired; but the initial cause of friendship is from its advantages.

 

Poverty, if measured by the natural end, is great wealth; but wealth, if not limited, is great poverty.

 

Those who are overly eager to make friends are not to be approved; nor yet should you approve those who avoid friendship, for risks must be run for its sake.

 

Neither he who is always seeking material aid from his friends nor he who never considers such aid is a true friend; for one engages in petty trade, taking a favor instead of gratitude, and the other deprives himself of hope for the future.

 

Let us completely rid ourselves of our bad habits as if they were evil men who have done us long and grievous harm.

 

If the anger of parents against their children is justified, it is quite pointless for the children to resist it and to fail to ask forgiveness. If the anger is not justified but is unreasonable, it is folly for an irrational child to appeal to someone deaf to appeals and not to try to turn it aside in other directions by a display of good will.

 

We should welcome praise from others if it comes unsought, but we should be concerned with healing ourselves.

 

We show our feeling for our friends’ suffering, not with laments, but with thoughtful concern.

 

Do nothing in your life that will cause you to fear if it is discovered by your neighbor.

 

Question each of your desires: “What will happen to me if that which this desire seeks is achieved, and what if it is not?

 

Freedom is the greatest fruit of self-sufficiency.

 

He who is calm disturbs neither himself nor another.

 

The soul neither rids itself of disturbance nor gains a worthwhile joy through the possession of greatest wealth, nor by the honor and admiration bestowed by the crowd, or through any of the other things sought by unlimited desire.

 

He who understands the limits of life knows that it is easy to obtain that which removes the pain of want and makes the whole of life complete and perfect. Thus he has no longer any need of things which involve struggle.

 

Natural justice is a pledge of reciprocal benefit, to prevent one man from harming or being harmed by another.

 

We need wisdom to see which pleasures are really pleasurable, and which pains are necessary to produce pleasure.

 

Happiness is not a private affair: it can be more readily achieved in a society where like-minded individuals band together to help inspire one another’s pursuit of happiness.

 

It is sweeter to give than to receive.

 

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

 

Luxurious food and drinks, in no way protect you from harm. Wealth beyond what is natural, is no more use than an overflowing container. Real value is not generated by theaters, and baths, perfumes or ointments, but by philosophy.

 

The man least dependent upon the morrow goes to meet the morrow most cheerfully.

 

To be rich is not the end, but only a change, of worries.

 

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.

 

There are infinite worlds both like and unlike this world of ours. For the atoms being infinite in number… are borne on far out into space.

 

A world is a circumscribed portion of sky… it is a piece cut off from the infinite.

 

In our study … follow the promptings of the facts.

 

A beneficent person is like a fountain watering the earth and spreading fertility: it is therefore more delightful and more honorable to give than receive.

 

Every man should examine his own genius, and advise with himself what is proper to apply himself to; for nothing can be more distant from tranquility and happiness than to be engaged in a course of life for which nature has rendered thee unfit.

 

There is this difference between a wise man and a fool: the wise man expects future things, but does not depend upon them, and in the mean time enjoys the present, remembering the past with delight; but the life of the fool is wholly carried on to the future.

 

Anxiety is directly proportional to forgetfulness of nature, for one brings on themselves unlimited fears and desires.

 

The beginning and the root of all good is the pleasure of the stomach; even wisdom and culture must be referred to this.

 

Natural wealth is both limited and easily obtained; but the riches demanded by vain ideals are insatiable.

 

Vain is the word of a philosopher which does not heal any suffering of humankind. For just as there is no profit in medicine if it does not expel the diseases of the body, so there is no profit in philosophy either, if it does not expel the suffering of the mind.

 

We must practice what produces happiness because when we have it, we have everything, and if we lack it, we do everything necessary to regain it.

 

It is better for you to be free of fear lying upon a bed of straw, than to have a golden couch and a lavish table and be full of trouble.

 

If you shape your life according to nature, you will never be poor; if according to people’s opinions, you will never be rich.