Selected Translations from the Book "Role Model to the World" by Yuan Cai (Part 12)
Do Not Hurt People's Feelings with Words
Often, close friends, beloved relatives, and old acquaintances become estranged, not because of what they say, but rather because of how they say it, such as when they have a rude attitude or tone. If we can keep our attitudes gentle and polite, when we point out others' shortcomings with direct and straight words, they will not be offended even if they do not heed our advice. On the other hand, when we speak tersely, then even if we do not mean to alienate others, they will often feel offended, if not outright angry.
Ancient people said, "If you get angry at home, it will be hard not to bring your anger to the outside." If you are angry while having a conversation, you definitely will not be humble, and others will be puzzled by your attitude. Therefore we must be even more cautious in speaking to others when we feel angry. Old sages said, "Try not to speak out after drinking alcohol, try not to get angry while having a meal, try to endure things that are overwhelming, and do not argue with people who are arrogant." We can benefit greatly by persistently observing such etiquette.
Win Over Others with Virtues and Talents
Regardless of physical appearances, people with high standards of virtue and conduct will naturally be respected by others. Regardless of their words, people with superb talents will naturally be held in high regard.
July 4, 2007