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Never appear too Perfect

Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity.

The human animal has a difficult time dealing with feelings of inferiority. When facer with superior skill, talent, or power, we are often ill at ease, because most of yu haéve an inflated sense of ourselves and when we meet people, who surpass us, they make it clear that we are medicre, or not as brilliant as we had thought. This disturbance in our self-esteem soon engenders ugly emotions. At first, we feel envy, which brings us neither comfort, nor any closer to equality. Nor will we admit to being envious, for showing envy is admiting to being inferior. So, we disguise envy, by criticizing the superior person.

There are several strategies for dealing with the destructive emotion of envy. First, understand thatas you gain power, others will feel envious of you. They may not show it but it is inevitablethat they feel it. Do not accept the facade they show you. Read between the lines of their criticisms, their sarcastic remarks, the signs of backstabbing, the extensive prise used to prepare you for an attack, the resentful look in the eye. Half of our problems with envy arise because we do not recognize it, until it is too late.

Second, expect that, when people envy you, they will work against you. They will put obstacles in your path. It is difficult to defend yourself against envy. Since it is easier to avoid creating envy, in the first place, you should plan to eliminate envy, before it arises. By being conscious of those qualities, which create envy, you can greatly reduce its occurance.

A great danger in the realm of power is the sudden improvement of fortune - an unexpected promotion, a victory or success that seems spontaneous. This si sure to stir envy in your former peers.

When archbishop Retz was promoted to cardinal

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