Thursday, March 10, 2022

56. The Traveler


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Bottom. [6] A man who travels afar moves amongst people whose customs are unfamiliar to him, as his manners are unfamiliar to them. This is not the time to engage in trivial or superficial activities that might easily be misunderstood or incorrectly interpreted. A stranger in a strange place cannot be sure how his actions will be viewed. He does not know how people will respond to him. Therefore, he should be serious but pleasant, friendly but not overbearing, kind but reserved, open but dignified. Any kind of exceptional behavior subjects the stranger to the possibility of rejection.
2. [6] A traveler’s modest behavior wins him acceptance, and he is able to settle down. The people he meets are good to him, and are willing to help him find necessities and manage comfortable accommodations. He makes friends with one person in particular, and this person is a great help to him in getting settled and getting acquainted with all the amenities the new location has to offer him.
3. [9] If a man who is a traveler causes difficulties with everyone he meets, if he knows only complaints and criticisms of things that are not to his liking, he will drive good people away from him and make life miserable for himself and all around him. If he intrudes into matters that are not his concern and places demands upon people he has only recently met, he makes himself unwelcome and causes people to shun him. By being unpleasant and difficult, mostly because everything is different and he is unable to adjust to the differences, he puts himself into a situation where he can expect nothing but problems.
4. [9] A traveler who is able to adjust outwardly to his surroundings, but who has many ambitious plans and schemes, will find himself unable to sit back and enjoy himself. He is trying to do too much, to manipulate too many projects, and this causes him to be on edge and in constant turmoil. Because he is in a strange place, he is not familiar enough with the customs and manners in order for him to be at ease and to fit in with the normal flow of things, and this keeps him in a constantly unsettled state. This forces him never to forget that he is a stranger in unfamiliar surroundings.
5. [6] The traveler wishes to settle down and find some form of employment. He meets with someone who is interested in him, he makes a good impression and is generous and affable. He is not shy and withdrawn, but friendly and outgoing with strangers. He makes friends and is accepted in the new circles. He is successful and able to make a good life for himself amongst these people who were once strangers.
Top. [9] The traveler was not careful in making his living arrangements and choosing his associates. He is casual about everything, and doesn't bother selecting the right kind of people as acquaintances. He laughed it off and thought at first that it didn't matter, since he was only interested in having some fun. But then he discovers he has chosen people for friends who are not interested in serious friendship with him, and he has neglected and alienated those who might have been much worthier company. The bad companions drop him when they perceive he has nothing to offer them, and the potentially good ones see him as an insubstantial person and are not interested. He has demonstrated that he appears to have no principles, that he is willing to mingle freely with inferior people, and that he does not wish to take time to nurture the friendship of the respectable people in the community. The result is, he has lost his chance to move in the better social circles and has become a virtual outcast.

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