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Taomeow

The dog and the lion

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There's an old Chinese proverb:

 

If you throw a stick to the dog, the dog will look at the stick.  If you throw a stick to the lion, the lion will look at who threw the stick.

 

I find it to be one of the most practical, pragmatically sound and philosophically sane teachings to internalize and be guided by. 

   

Don't just react to whatever is thrown your way.  Don't spend your life chasing sticks.  Look for the source.  Look like a lion (or lioness).  Don't sniff the stick, don't fetch the stick, don't chew on the stick before you find out who threw it -- or ever, if it's not in your nature to play with every stick thrown your way.  Examine and determine the source.  Who threw the stick.  Their intent, their motives for throwing it at you, what they stand to gain or lose from throwing it, what you stand to gain or lose if you chase the stick.  Are they playing with you?  Luring you into a cage?  Trying to distract you with the stick while their collaborators are aiming guns at you?  Do they mistake you for a dog and expect you to fetch?  And if you oblige and fetch, will they beat you with that stick?  Will they put you on a leash, on a chain, send you to a zoo, to a vivisection facility, to your death?  Will they own you?  Does the idea of being owned by them excite or disgust you? Who threw the stick?  Who are they?

 

Once you know, you can look at the stick if it makes sense to look at the stick once you know who threw it and their true intent.  Or you will run as fast as you can from the stick.  Or fight for your life.  Or for your dinner, whichever applies.

 

Meanwhile, the dog is still looking at the stick, mesmerized, excited.  Wow!  Bow wow!  A stick!  A stick for me!  How wonderful!     

    

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17 hours ago, Taomeow said:

Meanwhile, the dog is still looking at the stick, mesmerized, excited.  Wow!  Bow wow!  A stick!  A stick for me!  How wonderful!

 

On the other hand, if you throw a rodent or a ball of yarn before the eyes of a cat... :rolleyes::D

 

Thanks for sharing, Taomeow.

 

A relevant Chinese culture classic worth anyone's time:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Swindles

 

https://chinesemoneymatters.wordpress.com/2017/09/01/the-book-of-swindles-selections-from-a-late-ming-collection/

 

https://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/yinghui-wu/

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Taomeow, since you threw that insightful post to us would you care to go into any personal impacts it has had for you?  (besides the useful and obvious warnings it has for everyone) 

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6 hours ago, old3bob said:

Taomeow, since you threw that insightful post to us would you care to go into any personal impacts it has had for you?  (besides the useful and obvious warnings it has for everyone) 

 

I could give you many examples.  If it's a politician, I want to know what corporate interests exactly finance and/or endorse his or her campaign (who throws the stick) rather than listen to what he or she proclaims, denounces or promises (the stick they throw to me).  If it's a medical study, same thing -- who threw that stick (endorsement, finances, grants, history of the stick-throwing party and where they got what they have to throw and how exactly).  Their socioeconomic genealogy, their track record, their record of wrongdoings (if possible to get to the bottom of) -- before I'll ever consider whatever they present as accurate or true no matter how many times they swear on their mothers' graves it is. 

 

If I can't figure it out, I'll ignore the stick in its entirety.  But if I can, I'll know if it's trustworthy at all and whether I want to play with that stick.  If it's a social cause, trend, campaign, meme, call to get enlisted under this or that banner -- same thing.  Who and what are the actual sources?  What are they trying to accomplish for themselves when they tell me they're trying to do it for me or for we the people or them the people or whatever other sticks they throw every time their lips move and their prints print and their screens flash? 

 

And until I know for sure, I'll ignore it.  I won't look at that stick.  By itself it tells me nothing about what it's really for.  But once I've figured out its real source (nearly always hiding in shadows), it tells me everything.  Everything.  No need to look at every individual stick if you know who cut down the tree from whose flesh they keep carving millions of those sticks -- while we the people pay them to.

 

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2 hours ago, Taomeow said:

 

I could give you many examples.  If it's a politician, I want to know what corporate interests exactly finance and/or endorse his or her campaign (who throws the stick) rather than listen to what he or she proclaims, denounces or promises (the stick they throw to me).  If it's a medical study, same thing -- who threw that stick (endorsement, finances, grants, history of the stick-throwing party and where they got what they have to throw and how exactly).  Their socioeconomic genealogy, their track record, their record of wrongdoings (if possible to get to the bottom of) -- before I'll ever consider whatever they present as accurate or true no matter how many times they swear on their mothers' graves it is. 

 

If I can't figure it out, I'll ignore the stick in its entirety.  But if I can, I'll know if it's trustworthy at all and whether I want to play with that stick.  If it's a social cause, trend, campaign, meme, call to get enlisted under this or that banner -- same thing.  Who and what are the actual sources?  What are they trying to accomplish for themselves when they tell me they're trying to do it for me or for we the people or them the people or whatever other sticks they throw every time their lips move and their prints print and their screens flash? 

 

And until I know for sure, I'll ignore it.  I won't look at that stick.  By itself it tells me nothing about what it's really for.  But once I've figured out its real source (nearly always hiding in shadows), it tells me everything.  Everything.  No need to look at every individual stick if you know who cut down the tree from whose flesh they keep carving millions of those sticks -- while we the people pay them to.

 

 

is such figuring done along with your confidantes ?  (btw. few of which I have on several subjects) 

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