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Epictetus on Acting Correctly

The Quote:

“Whenever you do something you have decided ought be done, never try to avoid being seen doing it, even if people in general may disapprove of it. If, of course, your action is wrong, just don’t do it at all, but if it’s right, why be afraid of people whose criticism is off the mark?” -Epictetus


I read this quote in this morning’s “The Daily Stoic.” When I read it, I realized that it would make an excellent post for this site. Sure, it’s from a philosopher instead of a conservative politician, but it is just as useful as a political quote, if not more so.

Why is it useful? Because today conservatives are berated near constantly for doing what they think is right. Have you ever held the door open for a woman and been berated for doing so? Or stood up for what you know is right and been yelled at because someone doesn’t like your values?

Both of those things happen to me on a regular basis. It’s the cost of free speech and respecting the 1st Amendment. But we don’t need to worry about the negativity from our friends on the left. Instead we should keep doing what is right and just not engage people who attack us for doing so.

It is right to be chivalrous and hold the door open for a woman. It is right to stand up for what you know is correct. Yest, there are many authoritarian impulses at universities today.

People don’t like that you are acting outside of their value system when you behave as honorable people have for centuries. But you should continue to do so because that is what is right.

Like Marcus Aurelius and his MeditationsEpictetus knew how to live a good life. That is why both of them are featured in The Daily Stoic.


I love The Daily Stoic because it helps me remember how to do what is right and live a happy life. This quote by Epictetus on acting correctly shows just how to do that- live your life in the way you know is right and ignore criticism for doing so.

People will always be negative and want to tear you down for living well. For living better and in a more fulfilling way than they do. The key to happiness and contentment is ignoring them. Spend your time wisely, as Thomas Jefferson says to in his quote on idleness. Follow Epictetus’s advice, I know I will try to. As conservatives we must do so.

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By: Gen Z Conservative

Image at top from: AZ Quotes