54. The Marrying Maiden

The Lines

Bottom. [9] A man who is a newcomer and a subordinate has an excellent relationship with the head man, who has taken a liking to him and will help him along. It is important, however, that this newcomer keep himself quietly in the background, and not try to step out in front of the other subordinates who are of higher rank than he. This might seem to place him at a greater disadvantage than need be, and he might think it will prevent him from accomplishing some of the tasks he is capable of. But by not pushing himself forward and maintaining a friendly relationship with subordinates of higher rank, he can still accomplish many things without seeming a threat to the others, although he may not enjoy as much status and recognition as he would like.

2. [9] A man feels he has fallen out of favor. Whereas he had hopes of a productive relationship with the head man, the head man seems to ignore him and leaves him to his own devices. The man feels abandoned and shut-out, and this is a great disappointment to him. But he remains loyal and does not depart. He accepts his situation and resolves to accomplish as much as he can, regardless of the apparent neglect. Perhaps things will change for the better in time, but he remains steady, even though there is no assurance that his situation will improve.

3. [6] A man is in a position of little status, and yearns for something better. He is unable to move ahead through the ordinary competitive channels, however, and chooses to make headway in a way that is not flattering to his reputation, even though it is not exactly illegal or wrong. Thus, there is a trade-off: he gains some of the advantages that he so eagerly seeks, but he is not thought highly of because of what he must do to win these gains. His gains entail some losses. The choice is his. It is a real choice with real consequences, however. If he stays where he is, it is unlikely he will never move ahead.

4. [9] This man is in a position of little status, but he decides that he would rather remain where he is than do something that is somewhat less than honorable in order to make advancements. Opportunities seem to pass him by, and true to his choice, he remains in a position of little status. But eventually his better character is recognized, he is honored for his faithfulness and integrity, and somewhat belatedly he receives a position that is just as good as that which he might have obtained had he been less circumspect. In the end, he acquires what he had hoped for and does so with his reputation completely intact.

5. [6] A man of high status and good reputation takes a position of lower rank than he previously held. Where others might see this as an embarrassing or even humiliating step down, he accepts the position with dignity and sees it only as an opportunity to continue his work and to be of service to his fellow man, though with much less pressure. He looks askance at all concerns about rank, class and pride, and focuses instead on the task at hand. As a result, all goes well, the relaxed situation suits him, and he has great success.

Top. [6] A man occupies a high position, but it has little meaning for him. He performs his tasks perfunctorily, but his heart is not in it. He is looked upon as a worthless drudge and a bureaucratic plodder. He accomplishes little, he has no influence, and little self-respect. Nothing good could come of him.

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54. The Marrying Maiden

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