Indulgence and severity

A balance to be found between the two

October 10th 2011
Depending on the circumstances, we must know when to be indulgent and when to be severe. Our life in society is based on this balance. Whatever qualities they may otherwise possess, people who are always either severe or indulgent only complicate situations. Firmness and gentleness are obviously mutually exclusive, and we cannot ask them to be otherwise. Both are necessary, and I can give you a method for making good use of them. At the very moment you have to act severely, call up indulgence in your heart; otherwise, you will be harsh and unfair. And conversely, when you want to show indulgence toward people, remain clear-headed, and let them know you are not to be taken advantage of, so they don’t imagine you are weak and they can do whatever they like. Yes, there is always a balance to be struck, and this is difficult.