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There may be people around you who shock you by what they dare to do nonchalantly and without any compunction. I suspect you might even reach the end of your patience with them, thinking, “What kind of person would do that?” But I would like you to put yourself in that person’s place.

I bet that person has closed their mind to the criticism and reproach of those around them, and has shielded themselves with layers of defensive armor. Even if you try to straighten them out by reproaching them, they probably aren’t going to listen to you.

As long as people don’t sincerely feel that things are unacceptable, they won’t change no matter how often they’re scolded. What’s important is knowing how to appeal to their hearts so they will get serious. All this takes is a single point of heart-to-heart contact.

What people who protect themselves by retreating into their shells really want is someone who can be their true ally.

The “kind words of a bodhisattva” is an expression that means speaking with tender words, but even if you are not a good verbal communicator, if you believe the person and can give their concerns a sincere nod of recognition, this alone will become a magnificent “kind word.”

Nikkyo NIwano

Kaisozuikan. Kosei Publishing, pp.232-233

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