Daily Tao / 201 – Appearances

appearances

Some look fierce, but are mild.
Some seem timid, but are vicious.
Look beyond appearances;
Position yourself for the advantage.

Without experience, we are easily fooled by appearances. A large man speaks loudly, so we judge him crass and belligerent, but he may turn out to be quite kind. If we approach him defensively, we may not notice his good points. On the other hand, when we meet a petite and quiet woman, we may become complacent in our attitude. If she turns out to be a treacherous person, our laxity contributes to our victimization.

Sometimes people are exactly as they appear. Other times, they are only showing camouflage.

Humans, like animals, have different strategies for survival. Coloring, movement, scent, and so on are all ways in which animals practice deception. People are no different. They promise a great many things, but they seldom come through. They proclaim lifelong friendships, and yet they never return again. They promise you many things, but they are only looking for a way to take advantage of you. We must learn to clearly discern the personalities of others in spite of the facades they project.

Position yourself in the most advantageous way at all times. Use experience to pierce the trickery of others. That is the right way to cope with appearances.

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