Serve Integrity Before Any Other Master

The Lion, The Wolf and the FoxThere’s a whirlwind of staff turnover in the Trump administration. How much does he instigate with his sow-utmost-confusion management style? Who is whispering in Trump’s ear? What perceived insults come to his attention, and how? What is clear — infighting is a prime blood sport Trump enjoys.

A decrepit lion, gouty and near his end, wanted to find a remedy for old age. Try telling a king that something is impossible; you’re sure to be abused. This is so across every species. So call the doctors, there’s every kind.

Doctors came from far and wide for the lion. From every side, there were those offering recipes. Amidst all this visiting, the fox did not come. He kept quiet and to himself.

The wolf paid court, whispered in the king’s ear about his absent comrade as the royal went to sleep. Soon, the prince wanted the fox smoked out of his home, to make him come.

The fox presented himself, knowing it was the wolf’s doing.

I fear, Sire, he said, that a false report maliciously implied that I was avoiding this homage. But I was on a pilgrimage, to fulfill a vow I had made regarding your health. On my voyage, I saw leading experts and wise ones. I told them of your languor, of which Your Majesty fears the outcome, for good reason.

My prescription — you lack heat. Your long life has destroyed it. You need the fur of a wolf skinned alive, hot and steaming. This is the best secret for failing health. If it pleases you, Mr. Wolf will serve well as your bed robe.

The king tasted the advice. Mr. Wolf — skinned, fitted, dismembered. The monarch dined. And wrapped himself in the fresh pelt.

Courtiers, stop destroying yourselves. Pay court without undermining others, if you can. Any harm will come back to you four times worse than any good. Intriguers will get what’s coming one way or another. Your career forgives nothing.

I don’t dare list those who have lost their jobs or been moved to another’s position in DC, because the list is sure to be outdated in a matter of days. Trump’s closet must be getting pretty rank, with all the fresh pelts beginning to rot.

Though Trump offers himself up as a perfect current example of the dissipated lion, cheering on his subjects’ backstabbing, we can all heed the fable. Throwing some one else under the bus is not a good long-term strategy. The Blame Game is a boomerang that comes back at you with sharpened blade. And if we’re honest, it doesn’t feel good. I’m not referring to the skinned-alive part, which is obvious. I mean the part where we allow our own integrity to slip into the shadows, in favour of pleasing an entity we believe to be more powerful.

For every scapegoat (or Fox) there is a bully (or Wolf-soon-to-be-skinned). Power without personal integrity is bullying. The end game is lethal.

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