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Friday, September 30, 2022

10. Proper Conduct



The Lines 

Bottom. [9] A man who is not involved in a complicated relationship with others remains free of any obligations. His simple life-style allows him to follow his own inclinations, but the simplicity of his activities means he does not have much influence. If he is content with that, all is well and good. He will accomplish things on a small scale without any problem and will enjoy the satisfactions that come from minimal involvements in the world. If, on the other hand, he is dissatisfied with such simplicity and has a gnawing desire to improve his situation, his interest will be in advancing himself, not in accomplishing something. Success in such ambitious undertakings means he will become arrogant and materialistic.

2. [9] If a man chooses the quiet life of a man of wisdom and remains apart from the turmoil of the world, content with his basic needs and not desirous of material acclaim and rewards, he can travel through life peacefully, untroubled by the earthly cares that beset those who seek greater involvement. He can observe the ways of the world while being uninvolved himself. His quiet life-style means he does not challenge the forces that throw the lives of other men into disarray.

3. [6] If a man chooses to ignore his own limitations and plunges ahead into worldly involvements regardless of the difficulties and his lack of abilities, he will overextend himself and expose himself to great dangers. Such recklessness is sure to bring on great difficulties and possibly disaster. This kind of commitment is justified only when a person must rise in defense of something that cannot be abandoned or neglected, or for someone to whom he owes total loyalty.

4. [9] The situation may be dangerous, but the man is convinced he has the power to prevail. Nevertheless, he hesitates out of caution and a natural fear of the possible consequences. His lack of confidence, however, is his biggest problem. If he has the capacity to prevail, he will be successful in spite of the danger.

5. [9] A man recognizes that he must stand up and take charge of the situation, regardless of how dangerous it is. But as long as he remains fully aware of the danger and carefully calculates his actions based on that awareness, he can succeed. Full awareness of the situation enables him to judge exactly what he must do at each step of the way in order to insure that everything works out well. Maintaining his attention on the danger will help prevent him from falling into it.

Top. [9] In the end, how can a man know if his efforts will be successful? It is to look at the consequences that followed from the actions he has taken. If the effects that follow from actions taken are favorable, then the results of the entire effort will be good. It is difficult for a man to understand his own motivations in everything he does. Often he acts instinctively, thinking that whatever he is doing is for the best. But if he looks at the effects that his actions have, if he observes the responses that follow from what he does, then he will know whether he is acting correctly and whether in the end things will turn out successfully or not.

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