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10: Treading Carefully

Competent people find their way and make progress, even in difficult circumstances. Consider your steps carefully when powerful forces surround you. The weak and strong can coexist when the weaker element does not impose upon the stronger one, when it maintains good humor, and when it avoids taking bold action. When treading among sleeping tigers or slippery stones, step gingerly, and don’t stumble.

At this time, a relatively humble force or person is having influence over a stronger one and, for this reason, must be particularly careful. In the company of brash people, rushing wildly ahead will only bring misfortune. Now is not a good time for taking initiative; rather, try getting by with a little grace and good humor. In the court of a powerful king, the jester often has more power than a prince.

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