XXIV - Page 237 Home | Index | Previous | Next

Undue Haste and Delay are two Extremes to be Avoided

The qualities of patience and forbearance must be used with great discrimination, depending on the circumstances and conditions. There are circumstances when you are justified in acting quickly. You must always think ahead and be aware of the consequences of what you do. Under certain conditions, exercising unrestrained forbearance may lead to great troubles later on. Under most circumstances, haste creates problems. But if you are unduly slow, it may also lead to problems. It is said that undue delay can turn nectar into poison.

Slowness and haste are two extremes. On the one hand if you are too hasty your actions may be fatal, but if you delay too long they may also be poisonous. So, you must use your discriminating power and exercise patience to the degree appropriate to the circumstances. If first-aid must be given immediately, or if you are attending to a person who is very sick and is likely to lose his life in a few minutes if medicine is not given, then you must act quickly. In such situations there must be no delay. Delay would be poisonous and you must act fast and do the proper thing.

There are also circumstances when you are faced with people who are wicked and who are pursuing harmful ways. Then it may be necessary for you to warn them and correct them or otherwise deal with the situation. In such a case, appearing to lose patience may be your best recourse. Frequently, all that is necessary is just to change the sound of your voice a little. It doesn't mean that you have lost your inner quality of forbearance. Even if you elevate your voice and appear to be angry, you can still maintain the sacredness of your heart and not lose your peace, inside.