The Art of Flattery
Essay No. 01
The art of flattery is as old as the world itself. Since time immemorial this art has thrived unhindered. It has flourished by leaps and bounds. It knows no limit. It is a technique which wins all hearts.
Who does not like his praise? Who does not want his admiration? All of us are hungry for personal gains. If our efforts are appreciated though they are ordinary and common-place it is certainly flattery. All rich people do have a horde of fair-weather friends. They lick their heels for their selfish motives. All big officials and ministers and political leaders have many flatterers around them. They earn their favor and satisfy their ambitions. Flattery is a very 014 art. In ancient times also the kings and queens had a couple of people always around them who kept them in good humor by making false praises of each of their actions and activities. They got rich rewards sometimes for making a fine remark of flattery.
Flattery is the product of a wicked brain. They indulge in false praises and back-biting. They are the sycophants. They get the evil done by their high art of speech which is all false and motivated. The human mind, though very high in thought is very weak in constitution. You succumb to the art of flattery very easily. Even great minds have not been able to escape this treachery. Many evils including murders and wars and battles have been the result of flattery. The old autocratic rulers had no direct access to the people in general. They believed those who were around them. And they included people with this traditional art of flattery and the result was sometimes disastrous. Everyone should try to escape the evil of flattery.
Essay No. 02
The Art of Flattery
Flattery is not a pleasing term, yet we know how essential it is for success in life. The student, who flatters the teacher, is sure to receive more attention in the class and obtain a better position in the examination. The worker in the factory is certain of receiving promotion if he has pleased his boss and the public figure is bound to obtain a place of distinction if he keeps the people in good humour.
Flattery is the art of pleasing people. The story of the king who delighted in listening to these courtiers praising him illustrates the fact. If he said there was the moon in the sky, they would say, `yes, your Majesty, that sky is lit with moon and stars.
The next moment, if he said it was mid-day, they would say the sunlight was scorching. Felonious in Hamlet is a typical example of such courtiers. Both the parties know the truth and yet they both say things which look foolish.
The courtier knows that it would not help anybody if he contradicted the king, rather it was likely to bring positive harm to himself. The courtier is likely to suffer the wrath of the sovereign. He would be deprived of the favours bestowed on him by the royal will. He would be a fool to forgo the prize for a little whim of not coming up to the situation. He pleases the king and himself by flattering him.
The person in power has certain rights and privileges and it is not for subordinates to find fault with him. The human mind is so conditioned that it runs into certain fixed channels of thought unless deflected to flow in some other channels by strong forces.
The opinion of a courtier is not likely to awaken the mind of the king. In the same way, the opinion of the student would not affect the mind of the teacher in any way. He would incur his displeasure for nothing. It is not infrequent to find mothers with flattering babies. Children are flattered beyond measure. They should know in their turn therefore to flatter their parents to receive favours. That is illustrated by Regan and Goneril, the two daughters of King Lear. Cordelia, who does not know the art, is deprived of the patrimony.
Every businessman seems to be a professional as far as the art of flattery goes. In order to be able to sell the goods, the humour and cajoles his prospective customer. He endorses what the customer has to say and he tries his very best to cater to his or her needs. It is not the quality of goods but the art of lottery which he has learned that makes a businessman successful.
Socrates is an example of a public man who did not humor the people. The people have certain opinions and ideologies. Those who go according to their wishes are their leaders. Those who oppose them, who point out their follies and weaknesses are considered undesirable and shunned.
Socrates was poisoned to death and for a similar reason was Christ crucified. In politics, flattery is called diplomacy. It consists of holding one’s own feelings and sayings and doing things which catches others, fancies. Gifts, and presents serve the same purpose. The purpose of public address and reception is the same.
If flattery is so widespread, why should we feel shy of being called a flatterer? It is by no means creditable that an individual occupies the lowest rung of the ladder of success through his stiff nakedness and obduracy. By like the lake of soft blue waters which responds to every gale and is the beloved of all, rather than be like the hard rough stone which is evaded by everyone.