It is a good idea for diplomats to keep their word in small matters. It makes the later complete betrayals more of a surprise.
One of the stranger beliefs in science fiction is a passionate belief in Beautiful Writing--lots and lots of extraspecial exciting words thrown no hurled no CASCADED upon the reader in a shimmering shower of precious verbal gleaming gleanings and a singing pillar of righteous fiery syntactic spinach. The only thing that was good in that sentence was the spinach, and the hell with it.
Human beings always say they prefer peace, but it takes a saint to talk us into not assaulting our neighbors.
There is a saying among those of us who have careers with the Council of Humanity that skiers, cooks, painters, and diplomats must work with what is in front of them.
If you want to learn a culture, you have to learn how to like what it likes, rather than go looking for something that you like.
Almost every culture in the Thousand Cultures had some wisdom literature, and much of it was the same between any two cultures. . . . Cultures tend to be alike in much of what they think are the basic virtues, but one of the ones they are most alike in, though it rarely appears in their book of wisdom, is: Distrust strangers, fear foreigners, dread novelty.
It's a good idea for diplomats to keep their word in small matters. It makes the later complete betrayals more of a surprise.
People who put principles before people are people who hate people. They dont much care about how well it works, just about how right it is . . . they may even like it better if it inflicts enough pain.