Politeness is like a velvet cover or sheath. To place the knife of firmness in its correct place, we need the sheath of politeness. Politeness means to speak with due respect for the feelings of others. Truth is firm and can cut like a knife, but if told politely, it can never hurt. Politeness is when water flows over a rock for ages. It is very gentle and never gives pain, but makes a dent in the stone and leaves its mark.

When we want to speak the truth always, politeness is very essential. Untruth can be cut with the knife of truth (frankly) but frankness can also open new wounds where none existed. Hence, a true surgeon of truth will always use the scalpel of politeness. To cut away cancer is essential, but politeness guards us from cutting away the healthy tissues also.

Politeness means total lack of offence or pretence. In the face of untruth or wrong, we are not offended at all. We know the truth completely, but we don’t pretend to lie, because truth has to be given without a lie. When we accept completely the part of the other person and respect his/her feelings, we can politely tell the truth. Politeness is, thus based on gentleness. The role of every person even if he supports the perceived untruth, is as it should be. God teaches us this politeness by accepting us as we are.

God speaks to us about the Supreme Truth, but He doesn’t impose His truth on us. Politeness, as God teaches us, is based on the principle that although truth is the Highest Authority, yet the way it is presented should always be sweet and humble. The casing of politeness around truth is so attractive that the person siding with untruth wants to listen to what we have to tell.

God comes into the world of untruth but He never seeks total obedience from us, His children, to His truth. His gentle politeness draws us slowly and surely towards the knife of truth. When He operates us with this scalpel, we are least hurt as politeness dulls away completely the pain of being operated. Politeness is thus, spiritual anaesthesia. The Supreme Spiritual Surgeon teaches first the use of this spiritual anaesthesia and then teaches us to use the knife of truth.
by S. Aarti

related: Because it’s polite to wave