How to guard your goat.
When I was
quite young I was often told that I shouldn't let anyone get my goat. I often wondered to what that referred and how that had anything to do with keeping bullies from making me cry. I never understood as a child, at least not immediately, how to steel myself against taunts and jeers when my emotional control wasn't what other children seemed to be able to bare.
It took some time before research gave me some analytical understanding of the phrase. A goat in the old world and for quite some time was a valuable asset. One didn't stake out one's goat where one's neighbor could see to steal it or possibly kill it. If you lost your goat, and if it happened to be your only ram then breeding didn't happen and getting another one would count on whether one of the other dames were pregnant at the time.
Not withstanding this analogy. What my parents were telling me is that humans are emotional predators most of the time. They seem to be able to sense weakness in the emotional facades of their fellows. Sometimes these people go hunting and aren't above making their neighbor feel worse then themselves. It somehow provides a catharsis for a predator to see other’s suffering.
If you laugh you will find that the predatory nature of people in general is offset by peoples' general need to feel better about them the easy way. So long as the chips are up people gather like sharks to blood and they feed off of your moment of joy. So long as you are happy you will find those who want to feel happy as well gravitate toward you.
When things reverse you will find that those who merely wanted to feel good will desert you looking for the next emotional fix, then will come the goat hunters. If there is any sport to be had they will enjoy it and feed. If not, they have no compunction to leave you in the gutter to bleed.
It is as they say, "Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone."
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