Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Never Compete

The Art of Worldly Wisdom

114. Never compete. Every competition damages your reputation. Our rivals seize occasion to obscure us so as to outshine us. Few wage honorable war. Rivalry discloses faults that courtesy would hide. Many have lived in good repute while they had no rivals. The heat of conflict revives and gives new life to dead scandals, digging up long-buried skeletons. Competition begins with belittling, and seeks aid anywhere it can, not only where it should. And when the weapons of abuse do not effect their purpose, as often or mostly happens, our opponents seek revenge and use them at least for beating away the dust of oblivion from anything that is our discredit. People of goodwill are always at peace, and those of good reputation and dignity are of goodwill. - Balthasar Gracian