Kind words will set right things which have got most intricately wrong. In reality an unforgiving heart is a rare monster. Most men get tired of the justest quarrels.
If I could teach my students one extra-curricular lesson, it would be this. I have calmed furious students (sometimes furious at me, most often furious about something some peer has done) with a few kind words so often that it has become almost instinctive: “Get the kid away from the situation and say something kind.” A smile helps as well.
Yet they re-enter the same quarrel, sometimes only hours later (occasionally, even more quickly), and I can see a certain Sisyphean fatigue in them as they fuss. “A calm answer…” I mutter to myself, wondering if I can teach that by example alone.
The quoted excerpt is from Father Frederick Faber’s Spiritual Conferences, excerpted here.