Eight years ago I read the works of the Stoic philosophers Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius and Seneca. The experience changed my life. Now, in May I'm re-reading Epictetus's Discourses and Manual (Enchiridion), and seeking a deeper understanding of what Epictetus taught, and to put it into practice. Unlike today, when philosophy seems, for the most part, dry, technical, and confined to ivory towers, the ancient Greeks and Romans believed that philosophy is practical, about living in the real world, and that we should practice it daily so that we can live better lives.
and then you will be in a condition to befriend others - forming easy and natural relationships with like-minded people, but capable too of treating unenlightened souls with sympathy and indulgence, remembering that they are ignorant or mistaken about what's most important. Never be harsh, remember Plato's dictum: 'Every soul is deprived of the truth against its will'.*
Should we pity people who are enslaved by external things (such as the desire for wealth, status, recognition)? No, because that would be arrogant, and because we'd let our beliefs and feelings about other people get the better of us. And we'd feel superior to them, and superiority is a form of status, and therefore an 'external' too. By pitying others, and feeling superior, we'd enslave ourselves.
* Epictetus, Discourses, II, 36, in Robert Dobbin (ed.,) Discourses and Selected Writings (Penguin, 2008), pages 139-140)