Monday, November 14, 2016

well, Epictetus, this is fine. Just a couple little things…

image by David Rhoden

This was a bookmark I found in a book that I also found (on the sidewalk, Atonement, by Ian MacEwan, check it out). It’s like a fortune cookie but huge and printed on heavy paper, like somebody really meant it.

But I have a couple of questions. One: don’t people anchor boats with a single anchor all the time? I would have put multiple anchors in the “nice-to-have” category. Like for a super big boat. But how often do they really drop anchors anyway? I’m ready to be schooled on this.

Two: is it really so bad to have one goal in life? There’s plenty of wisdom, cookie and otherwise, that says that’s exactly what you should do. Like “Don’t be a dilettante all your life”, as Epictetus would probably suggest you do. It’s not so obvious, and the thing about not having an anchor doesn’t illuminate it much. Should I have two equal goals/anchors? One kind of “emergency” lesser goal? What kind of boat are we talking about?

Three: how are these things alike, besides the inclusion of “single”? How does the simile work? If you only have one boat anchor, presumably it can fail and now your boat just floats away. I guess Epic-T thought if you have one goal in in life, and you fail at it, you float aimlessly like an unanchored boat. but to me a person is not at the whims of the waves like a boat is. What metaphor would he have made of a personal flotation device?

Whatever. By the time Epictetus was my age he’d probably been dead for years.

Also here’s a video that expresses the idea of “off the chain”.

Posted by David Rhoden on 11/14 at 06:18 PM
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