UPDATE, again, this May 2015: Indeed, this post is ageless. I still encounter Chantapufis, every year, every month. Regardless of profession, age, gender, ethnicity, etc., etc., they all are the same: chantapufis.
UPDATE: A propos of my earlier post on Gaining confidence, I could not resist bumping this old post that is ageless:
Sometimes we are our own worst enemies, especially when doubt in one’s principles and abilities creeps in. Everyone is prone to tsk-tsk cliches and proverbs and fables alike (though not many seem to have heard of Aesop or La Fontaine nowadays), because they sometimes invoke stereotypes. But, stereotypes are not necessarily all evil and sometimes they do help identify a certain character or characteristic, based on the cumulative knowledge that we amass through the centuries of experience.
One particular such stereotype is what the Argentines refer to as a “chantapufi”, a slang term that means someone who has no qualms lying or deceiving in order to gain something. More specifically, it is a person whose word has no value because he or she has no honor.
There are many “chantapufis” in this world, and I have come across them quite often, though -in some cases- it took me a long time to figure some of them as such. The problem is that these “chantapufis” are hard to decipher initially, because they are master liars and obfuscators. They are very dangerous when they come cloaked in the veneer of reputable professions and organizations.
But “chantapufis” will forever be “chantapufis” so, when we are afraid of our imaginary fears, it makes sense to figure out who or what is originating that fear. If it comes from a “chantapufi”, chances are we are hearing from a charlatan, like the fox in the Aesop’s fable….
The Fox without a Tail by Aesop
A fox lost his tail in escaping from a steel trap. When he began to go about again, he found that every one looked down upon or laughed at him. Not liking this, he thought to himself that if he could persuade the other foxes to cut off their tails, his own loss would not be so noticeable.
Accordingly he called together the foxes and said: “How is it that you still wear your tails? Of what use are they? They are in the way, they often get caught in traps, they are heavy to carry and not pretty to look upon. Believe me, we are far better without them. Cut off your tails, my friends, and you will see how much more comfortable it is. I for my part have never enjoyed myself so much nor found life so pleasant as I have since I lost mine.”
Upon this, a sly old fox, seeing through the trick, cried, “It seems to me, my friend, that you would not be so anxious for us to cut off our tails, if you had not already lost yours.”