Pretend To Be A Pig To Devour A Tiger

Most of us are familiar with the saying “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and almost similar to it, a Chinese saying/proverb translated literally – “pretend to be a pig to devour a tiger”. Both depicts the ways of the pretentious people. I tend to think that the latter is the total opposite of the famous “sharing is caring” quote.

“Pretend to be a pig to devour a tiger” is often used during the upbringing of a regular Chinese family. It teaches the audience to avoid the provocation of competitor(s). The outcome is often a very selfish community. People stop sharing and disclosing information that will bring about good for others.

Some put this into practice in a way similar to the Aesop Fable’s The Dog in the Manger story. They keep crucial information to themselves hoping that others would tumble and fall. In return, they gain for themselves.

In the corporate world, this is the common theme used in office politics. You would wonder how some people are brilliant enough to pass an interview and get the job but seemed to be oblivious to matters pertaining to their role. They will pretend to be stupid, plant a knife on your back, and devour you. They creep up on you without you knowing. The next thing you know, you have been dethroned by that little scum bag answering “I don’t know” to your every question.

So there you go, an explanation to a Chinese proverb which I hate with a passion because of how it has shaped the community into a huge collection of selfish SOBs. It only serves as a lesson to be selfish just to protect oneself – not solving the underlying issue truthfully.


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