Ah yes, as promised here is the 2nd part of my initial proverb (or idioms), One Mountain Cannot Contain 2 Tigers. Well, it is only me whom declared this as the 2nd part of the first proverb, in reality, they are not affiliated in any case. These 2 different proverbs were created with no relation to each other.
So, what does Pig and Tiger have in common? One is the predator and the other gets to be eaten. So, Tiger will eat the pig for sure, that is the law of the jungle. No offence to our Muslim friend (sorry, W). And Chinese loves to eat pig (for some unknown reason), so pig often gets referenced. I have heard of Confucious discouraging people from eating dogs & pigs (not sure if this is true). If this is indeed true, then he obviously did not do a good job discouraging the pork-eating.
Back to the proverb. Now this is a very helpful proverb which have guide me through certain stages in life. Basically this proverb means to act lower than what you actually are, to achieve certain aim during a particular stage. In this proverb, the pig will never would have the chance to eat/kill the Tiger. And everyone knows that, including the Tiger himself. So, your only chance to be close to the Tiger and eventually killing him is to pretend to be a Pig. This way, the Tiger would have never suspected that you are capable of killing him. The key to this is to allow the Tiger to relax and off-guard. This is a very scheming yet useful proverb. I find this proverb useful especially when you go into a new environment. Now, if your task is to blend into the new environment and eventually lead this environment, then this would be the best strategy to employ. I will list out a few scenarios below:-
– a new job. You are eventually expected to lead the group or the task you are doing.
– getting married. For male, you are expected to lead the small family and for female, you are expected to run the family & be in-charge of daily family issues (this is for u, W).
Now for these new environments, there is always an existing Tiger already. If it’s a new job, your supervisor is probably the Tiger & if you getting married, perhaps your mother-in-law is the Tiger. Who is this existing Tiger really depends. Generally it is the head, but sometimes it can change. You need to be alert to notice who the real Tiger is. For example, in a new job, you might assumed that your supervisor is the Tiger but turns out that one of your senior is always influencing the group and setting direction for the group. Her influencing power is bigger than your own supervisor! I think likely she is the Tiger and she has the power to kick you out if she doesn’t like you.
Anyway, when meeting with an existing Tiger, you must understand how they think. Being in power for so long, they are not ready to share their power yet. So you cannot join the group and showing that you are more capable and want to change things. Sometimes, even if it looks logical, you are better off keeping it to yourself first until it is acceptable for you to voice it out. It’s always about the timing. Prove yourself first by doing, then you have the right to want to change things.
So, in the end, as long as you are not intimidating the existing Tiger, then he relaxes with you around, you can slowly show your capability, in a quiet manner. This way, you have avoided many unnecessary clashes & resistance. And in time, when it is required, perhaps you can dispose the old Tiger, or strip off his power.
I will tell on story of how my mum disposed of her Tigers (in-laws). Being married to a very tradisional & paternistic family, my mum has no voice in the family. This is something she is not used to but has to accept. Now, there is nothing wrong if you set the rule that seniority rules in the family, as long as it is run well. You know, seniors calling the shot, running the show and doing it well. But on many different levels, that is not the case with my grandparents. They tend to bully my mum by asking her to do something yet excuses their daughter to do the same. They do not understand the idea of properly educating the young and polishing them up. They were selfish (for most times) and only seek to get benefit for themselves. Because of this, my mum instinctively knows that in time, if I were to be brought up by them, I will be like them. So, one way or another, my mum try to find ways to distance me from my grandparents (my grandpa especially). We managed to move out to a place nearby my grandparents house, not staying with them anymore.
Anyway, to cut the story short, my mum managed to minimize the sort of bad influence my grandpa had on me. All his thinking about how the younger generation should seek to serve the older generation, follow his words blindly etc were slowly seen by me as pure selfish and illogical. These days, I barely talk much to him and had never really gave him any money despite being working for many years now. So, the once aggressive and powerful Tiger, commanding everyone to follow him is being disposed of by my mum, the hidden Tiger, pretending to be a Pig. There are numerous tips & tricks that my mum employs throughout, but going through all that is out of this post scope. Perhaps next time in my other posts, I will talk about how my mum kept her earnings secret, how she always be a devil’s advocate to show us the other side of the coin, etc etc…