Most people would associate strategy with deceit and dishonesty. I purpose that we can be very honest without being artless. Let each soldier be a real quality, a real weakness or a real passion. If I throw all my soldiers out of the box and just let them lie there topsy-turvy, it is certainly honest. But is it effective? Is it seductive? Is it at all kind or gracious?
What I would call dishonest, is to use mercenaries, soldiers that are not my own. Generally, this is not an act that stems from evil, but rather from a lack of confidence in one’s ability to work with ones own soldiers. Perhaps you have once been told that your qualities are not as good as that of the girl next door, or that no one can find the charm in your weaknesses. Today, I would like to contradict those naysayers and give you permission to unleash your own armies on unsuspecting villages.
But, not before those armies have had a little training and you have learned to make a seductive formation. Let’s say that your main qualities include your skill at the piano, being a good listener, a good knowledge of physics, and a headful of gorgeous blonde curls. Your weaknesses include overeating, clumsiness, procrastination and a crazy brother. You adore music, baking cupcakes and dressing up like a Venetian courtesan. Would you come to a first date dressed like one? Would you then bring a tray of your cupcakes, tell all about the tasks you fear to face and the exploits of your brother, would you intimidate the poor man by bragging about all the places you have played piano at and smothering him in the theories of physics that he cannot understand? Why, he will run, not walk! Or would you let your front line be made up of your soothing presence as a good listener, a glamorous look with your cascading tresses framing your face, a cutely presented kind of clumsiness? Once you have praised his skill as a lawyer and his courage to face aggressive opponents in the courtroom, he’ll only be flattered to have a smart physicist at his side. Baking dainty little cupcakes would be just adorable when your best friend has a birthday and you are introducing him to your circle. Taking a second helping, perhaps even a third can be quite charming at his mother’s house. And when he sees that you are kind to your brother in spite of his craziness or sees that you are unwilling to allow his mistreatment of you even though he is family, your mercy or dignity will only command admiration. This, my friends, is honest strategy.