It takes more than just a good looking body. You’ve got to have the heart and soul to go with it. – Epictetus
What does that mean?
He might have had an ulterior motive for this quote, presuming he actually said it, given he was lame or injured and used a crutch or walking aid of some kind.
That said, the quote has some merit. Just look at Hollywood, and all the good looking bodies. How many of them have heart? How many of them have soul? No matter how you define these terms, far too many of them are little more than a pretty face or a good looking body.
Yes, there are some who do have these qualities. But far too many lean only on their looks for their fame, and have little to no other attributes to recommend them.
This quote reminds us that there is more to life than good looks. Caring for others, and for all of humanity is part of life. Having heart and having soul also requires a little action.
Why is caring important?
In order to be able to say that you ‘have the heart and the soul’ to go with a good looking body, you have to care. At least that is how I take the heart & soul statement in the second half of the quote. To me, the body represents the physical half of our being and the heart & soul represent the spiritual half.
By caring for others, we are engaging the spiritual part of ourselves. While we may disagree on exactly what ‘spiritual’ means, I believe we can all agree that caring for each-other is both important and spiritual in nature. By taking this part of our lives seriously, we can become a more complete person.
Not all of us are exactly all that good looking. I’m kind of skinny and at least a little goofy looking. There isn’t much which I can do about that. And time is no friend of good looks. Yet our ability to care for others is always present. The only question is how much effort we will put into developing that part of ourselves.
We can all care about others. We can try to help them, as our circumstances allow. We can all do something, however small. While an avalanche may contain some big rocks, the bulk of the avalanche are tiny rocks. If it was just the big rocks, it wouldn’t be all that impressive. We can be part of an avalanche of caring, if we put forth the effort.
Where can I apply this in my life?
An avalanche of caring. That sounds kind of goofy, but I think you probably understand what I am trying to say. Usually the term used is “an outpouring of caring” or something similar. Just think of the last few international emergencies, and how the world reacted to them, rising to the occasion with caring and assistance.
It is true, not all get the same attention, but it’s hard to ignore something as obvious and significant as a tsunami and a nuclear power plant. Recently an aircraft with over 200 people on board went missing. Already nearly a dozen nations have sent crews and equipment to help in the search. That’s quite a start for just a few days.
For most of us, caring is something which comes naturally, at least for those closest to us. What is harder is to care about people we don’t know, or harder still, those we don’t like. Yet, at least in my mind, that is what we need to do to develop our spiritual side, to have the heart and soul to go with our ‘good looking body.’
Yes, it can be pretty easy to help out when there is a large scale disaster in a far-distant country. It usually consists of a one-time donation of cash or other useful and easily transported stuff. Then what? You checked that box, and you might follow along for a while, but you cared, and you’re done.
Sadly, that is all too common. I’m not saying we need to give money or time or stuff every day to every cause. But I believe we should keep track of what is going on, and to make sure our efforts are being properly applied. After all, we’re dealing with people, and a lot of money and supplies.
In some parts of the world, corruption and greed can easily wreck the best relief efforts. If we are to feel good about giving, we must make sure it gets to where it is needed. How would you feel if your donations went to install a gold-plated toilet in a ruler’s palace, instead of feeding refugees?
Caring in instances of extreme need is a good first step, but I believe we can do so much more. Why do we wait until something massive happens before we show that we care? What can you do to help in your own neighborhood or in the area near you? What is there you can do to help others today or later this week?
Heart and soul, like a good looking body, takes work. It takes effort to build and keep a good looking body. It takes effort to build and keep a good heart and soul. What will you do today to build a better, bigger, and more caring heart and your soul?
From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/epictetus119454.html
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