Even Trivial Incidents Can Spark Disaster When Wise Leadership Is Absent

The astute observer of affairs will keep his finger on the pulse of unfolding events.  He will make his observations, draw his own conclusions, and adjust his behavior accordingly.  It is of no use to pretend that something is not what it clearly is; to live in denial is to live with a suspended sentence hovering over one’s head.  For when the conditions are right for a fire, any spark can be the cause of a conflagration.

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Military Adventurism Brings Disaster To The Reckless

In the year 1260, Tuscany was engulfed in war.  The cities of Florence and Siena were engaged in mutual hostilities.  About twenty-five miles from Siena was located the small town of Montalcino, which happened to be a friend and ally of Florence.  The Sienese hoped that by staging an attack on Montalcino they might be able to compel the Florentines to send an expedition for its relief–an expedition that, they hoped, they could lure into a trap.  To this end, the Sienese government publicly announced their intention to move against Montalcino, and watched to see what the Florentine response would be.

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