Episode 806 Obsequious

On a breezy evening in a quaint village square, old Mrs. Bailey often regaled the children with tales of characters from her youth. Among them was a tale of young Sam, a character so synonymous with the word 'obsequious' that one couldn't think of him without recalling the very essence of the word.

This is your host Danny, and this is English Plus Podcast.

Now, "obsequious" isn't just a fancy term tossed around in elite circles. It describes a kind of excessive eagerness to serve or please others, a quality often seen as flattery or even subservience. However, as with most things in life, it's not just black and white. There's a depth to "obsequious" that goes beyond its immediate perception.

Back to Sam. His dedication to the village mayor was legendary. From shining his shoes to ensuring his paperwork was impeccable, Sam's attentiveness was often the talk of the town. Many saw him as overly eager, perhaps too keen to please. But what most didn't see was the genuine admiration Sam had for the mayor, a figure who'd once saved his family from destitution.

Then there's the story of Lila, a brilliant ballerina in a bustling city. To many, she seemed obsequious in her devotion to her mentor, Madame Rosetta. Lila would hang on to every word, perform every step with a desperation to perfect it, seeking constant validation. Onlookers whispered about her lack of self-worth. Yet, what they missed was Lila's understanding of the nuances of ballet, her respect for the tradition, and her unwavering belief that Madame Rosetta's feedback, though tough, was the crucible that would mold her greatness.

History, too, has its tales. Think of the courtiers in ancient kingdoms, their obsequious behavior often a mix of strategy and survival. While some purely acted out of fear, others, like the wise Chanakya in ancient India, used their obsequious demeanor as a facade, a tactical move in the grander scheme of politics and power.

So, obsequiousness, while commonly seen as excessive flattery or subservience, can often be a manifestation of genuine respect, admiration, or even strategy.

Take, for instance, an employee in a modern corporate setting. Call him Alex. His colleagues often labeled him obsequious for his constant agreement with his boss. They smirked as he laughed at every joke, nodded at every idea. Yet, behind closed doors, it was Alex who the boss turned to for genuine advice, for he had taken the time to understand, respect, and tactically maneuver his position in the office dynamics. His obsequious exterior hid a sharp, strategic mind.

But, of course, like all traits, obsequiousness is best in moderation. While it's a dance of dedication, it's essential to ensure it doesn’t compromise one's self-worth. And this brings us to the tale of Eva.

Eva, a budding artist, was often seen trailing behind renowned artist Mr. Grayson. She absorbed his techniques, echoed his style, and mirrored his every artistic move. Many called her obsequious, and for a while, it seemed so. Until one day, Eva unveiled a masterpiece that, while bearing hints of Grayson's influence, was distinctly her own. She had learned, imbibed, and then innovated. Her obsequious phase was but a cocoon, from which she emerged, wings vibrant and unique.

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