Today we ask that you understand that most of the time, subtlety is better than force.

Many people go through life like gorillas.  They perceive a threat, and then howl and beat their chests at it.

Or else they cower, and run away — like a scared, non-dominant gorilla.

So: it is either chest-beating, or hiding.  Force, or total helplessness.  These appear to be the only choices.

There is a better way.

There is another way to approach threatening situations.  One in which you neither beat your chest and yell and force, nor cower and fall into terrified helplessness.

This is the way of subtlety.

Sometimes, dealing with difficult people or situations is like entering a heavily guarded fortress to reach a hidden treasure.  The hidden treasure is successfully working with the difficult person to achieve a greater good, or defusing a tense situation, also to achieve a greater good.

There are three ways to approach a heavily guarded fortress:

The first is with a huge army.  This is the way of force, or chest-beating.  Thousands of foot soldiers may die in this battle, and victory is far from certain.

The second is just to run away from the fortress because you believe there is no way to reach the hidden treasure. This is the path of cowering fear, and helplessness.

The third way is to sneak into the guarded fortress like a thief, and liberate the hidden treasure right out from under the enemy’s nose — with no force, and no loss of life.

This is the path of subtlety.

It is like Obi Wan Kenobi, in “Star Wars,” using the Jedi Mind Trick.

It is a highly intelligent mode of action.  You are no longer a gorilla when you behave this way.  You are a true human being.

When faced with a threatening person or situation, ask yourself: how can I be Obi Wan?  How can I perform the Jedi Mind Trick?  How can I defuse tension without this person even understanding what it is I am doing?

How can I be the thief, who slips in unnoticed, and liberates the hidden treasure?

When faced with the choice of aggressive force or helpless submission — know that there is almost always a third way.  

When you inquire, “What is this third way?” — an answer will usually present itself.