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Day 137: Familiarity Does Not Necessarily Breed Contempt


You have likely heard a common saying “familiarity breeds contempt”. The more we know people, the more likely it is to find fault with them. You tend to dislike many things about them and disrespect crops in. You do not take them seriously. This is a very common narrative, but how true is the statement?

Aesop tells a story of a Fox and a Lion. The Fox first saw the Lion and was terribly frightened, and ran away and hid himself in the woods. Next time however he came near the King of Beasts, the Fox stopped at a safe distance and watched him pass by.

The third time they came near one another the Fox went straight up to the Lion and passed the time of day with him, asking him how his family were, and when he should have the pleasure of seeing him again; then turning his tail, he parted from the Lion without much ceremony. 

With this, Aesop concludes, and reinforces the popular statement, Familiarity breeds contempt. 

It is possible to become dishonorable to the people who are close to you. Is it selfishness or unhappiness that breeds contempt? This are questions that are important and require us all to think about. What brings about contempt?

When we honor each other, it is unlikely to experience contempt. The contempt often is as a result of our needs not being met. It is a feeling of not being cared for or perhaps being disrespected. It appears similar to ‘me first attitude.’ This, I believe is what brings about contempt, and not necessarily familiarity.

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