|Posted on August 12, 2014 at 11:40 AM|
Ever heard the sentiment 'Patience is a virtue but too much of it can hurt you'? This topic came up when we visited Orangeburg. One friend said they had been chastised for being too generous, that virtues like generosity and forgiveness can encourage dependence and lead to the giver/forgiver being taken for granted.
That's where virtues (dare I say skills?) like discernment and justice come in. It seems to me service in most contexts is best undertaken as a group effort. One hand washes the other, and both become cleaner. Kindness and generosity should not require reciprocity, but in my view sustainable development means self-development. As Socrates said: “Let him who would move the world first move himself.” In any case, the longer term outcomes of any assistance given should be thought through.
What about when we express our ideas with words? Silence is sometimes the best option, but when we do speak, can there be too many good words and thoughtful ideas? It has been said: "Not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it." (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah)