Law 36: Disdain Things You Cannot Have: Ignore Them Is The Best Revenge

The 48 Laws Of Power Summary Series

Alexander Emmanual Sandalis

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Judgement

“By acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility. The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him; and a small mistake is often made worse and more visible when you try to fix it. It is sometimes best to leave things alone. If there is something you want but cannot have, show contempt for it. The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem.”

“The best lesson you can teach an irritating gnat is to consign it to oblivion by ignoring it. If it is impossible to ignore, then conspire in secret to do away with it, but never inadvertently draw attention to the bothersome insect that will go away or die on it’s own.”

This insect is a metaphor for life’s small, but insignificant problems.

An example of ignoring the “gnats” can be seen in 1930's politics.

“Critiques of Franklin D. Roosevelt complained bitterly about the money his administration spent on government projects, but their attacks had no resonance with the public, who saw the president as working to end the Great Depression.” The Great Depression distracted the public's attention and care sufficiently to mitigate his detractors (the gnats) from having an influence.

Philosopher Baltasar Gracian articulates why we should not take most thing’s to heart.

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Alexander Emmanual Sandalis

Self-reflective writings & book summaries on philosophy, psychology and human behaviour. Video’s + podcast → youtube.com/emmanualalexander