The question arises, “What may be done if one is tied with another person in business, or in a tie of relationship, or in a certain enterprise, where both have the same interest, the same destiny and to a certain extent the same goal [and who act differently toward us from how we expect them to act. –ed.]?” This question is most difficult to answer in a few words. In the first place we must know the reason why another person does not act as one wishes him to act; and then one must realise one’s position in connection with that person. There are connections where one has perhaps more experience of life or more responsibility of life than the other, and one has more right to differ from what is expected than the other. It is necessary to realise in what capacity one stands with another in considering this question, for it is more the work of the elder, of the superior in position, to think why the younger one, or the one who assists him, acts differently from what was expected; instead of the younger one and the one who assists thinking, “Why does the one whom I assist act differently from what I expect of him?”
However, whatever be one’s position in connection with another in life, there is one principal thing to be remembered: that by annoyance, by grudging, by complaining, by criticising, most often one turns things from bad to worse.
Do not think that another person wishes to be corrected by you, be he wise or foolish, elder or younger; as soon as one takes the step to correct a person, one, so to speak, does violence to his pride, to his ego, and by doing so one upsets his right thinking. There are ways of doing things. The wiser one is, the more beautifully he accomplishes his purpose in whatever position he may be. If one has to be humble in doing it beautifully, if one has to bend in doing it nicely, instead of making another person bend, it really matters very little. Criticising a person, accusing a person of his fault is no less than slapping his face, perhaps worse.
In all cases it is consideration which is needed, a respectful attitude towards human nature, whatever be the other’s position in life in connection with you; it is that which gives you a complete mastery. The great kings of the world very often have been pulled down from their thrones by those who for years bowed and bent and trembled at their command, but the Christ-like souls who have washed the feet of the disciples are still held in esteem, and will be honoured and loved by humanity forever. Their example is the example to follow in life’s path, which is full of thorns, and those who have followed their principle, even to the smallest degree, they have arrived safely at their destination.