God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go either wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong; I cannot. If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata—of creatures that worked like machines—would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free.
—from Mere Christianity
— A Year with C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works by C.S. Lewis
“Remember that it’s not only the desire for wealth and position that debases and subjugates us, but also the desire for peace, leisure, travel, and learning. It doesn’t matter what the external thing is, the value we place on it subjugates us to another . . . where our heart is set, there our impediment lies.”
—EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES , 4.4.1–2; 15
Diogenes, the famous Cynic, once said, “It is the privilege of the gods to want nothing, and of godlike men to want little.”
— The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday