Play Your Part

by Tom Swift

“Remember that you are an actor in a drama of such sort as the author chooses, — if short, then in a short one; if long, then in a long one. If it be his pleasure that you should enact a poor man, see that you act it well; or a cripple, or a ruler, or a private citizen. For this is your business, to act well the given part; but to choose it, belongs to another.” -Epictetus, The Enchiridion, XVII

Always remember your role. This is easier said than done. Life continuously posits new assignments. While you might fancy yourself taking on a new part, you do not have as much choice here as you think. Your range, really, is quite limited. To don a bear suit daily would be ridiculous. No less so is to think you can be a man of another breed. Don’t forget, too, there is cost in the pursuit of the fateful or the frivolous. It is enough to perform that to which you are suited and assigned. To successfully enact that is the challenge and reward of this life. Spend no time at all learning roles you aren’t meant to play.