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Wednesday, June 1, 2022

16. Enthusiasm



The Lines

Bottom. [6] A man who tries to impress followers with himself or his background in hopes of stirring up enthusiasm for some task in which he has an interest only invites disaster. Enthusiasm should never rest solely on the leader's personal qualifications or charisma. Those sycophants caught up in such hero-worship can easily be led down a harmful path. Enthusiasm should be centered on worthwhile goals and on the work to be done. It should be a dedication to a cause that unites people together and enlists their best abilities and the best aspects of their character.

2. [6] A superior man does not allow himself to be misled by a deceiver. While others may be taken in by tricksters, he immediately recognizes the ruse being attempted and perceives the intent of charlatans from the very beginning. He is not fooled by pretenders, but remains as steady as a rock. He does not flatter those leaders who would mislead him, and counsels those who look up to him for directions and advice to avoid becoming followers of such men. He detects the very first signs of deception and does not hesitate an instant in making his exit from such a gathering. In this way, his path avoids sorrowful ends and leads to good fortune.

3. [6] If a man is taken in by deception and becomes an enthusiastic follower of a charismatic swindler, he will find himself dragged into an unfortunate outcome. He is in danger of losing his fortune and his sense of self-respect. Only if he recognizes the peril and seizes the moment to escape will things turn out well.

4. [9] A superior man can gather others together and win their enthusiastic support with his infectious vision. He sees clearly what needs to be done, and does not hesitate to take the leadership in accomplishing it. This clarity and his complete sincerity win people over, and they become convinced to join in and do their part. The feelings are mutual. The superior man trusts these followers, they trust him and his insight, and together they go on to success. He unites them, not through trickery and foolery, but through confidence in a shared vision.

5. [6] A man has the capacity to be an enthusiastic follower and to do outstanding work. He is sincere and wishes to dedicate himself to some worthy cause, but his enthusiasm is held in check. He is not able to make a connection that will allow him to function freely and develop; his readiness to contribute of his talents finds no channel that will properly utilize his abilities. But there is an advantage to this. He does not waste himself and his enthusiasm on some task that is not worthy of him. This obstruction to the realization of his powers serves a good purpose, in that it enables him to hold off until something worthy of his talents comes along later.

Top. [6] A man finds that his enthusiasm has been lavished on some task that is not to his credit. At first, his enthusiasm knew no bounds, but now he feels let down and discouraged. What he was enthusiastic about turns out to be an empty goal not worth pursuing. But if he has given it a fair chance, if he has explored it fully and finds it truly wanting, there is no great harm done. His contributions were offered honestly and whole-heartedly. He now realizes it was all a mistake, but he is still capable of stepping aside and directing his energies into some other endeavor. There is nothing wrong with that. His experience has made him the wiser, and he is free to go on to something more worthy of himself and to be successful with it.

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