…The eleventh degree of humility is that when a monk speaks he do so
gently and without laughter, humbly and seriously, in few and sensible words, and that he be not noisy in his speech. It is written, “A wise man is known by the fewness of his words”
This gentleness and humility is not to say that we shouldn’t be firm and truthful. Gentleness is often perceived with mildness of manner, or an attitude that avoids conflict. Gentleness is using discretion and acknowledging that if you can not offer good and wholesome advice it is better to not give any. When approached by some one for an opinion on questionable behaviour or difficult decisions, if we demur or “soft shoe” simply because we don’t want to embarrass or possibly offend, we make ourselves accomplices to their sin. By denying the Truth to those who seek it we deny them the opportunity to practice virtue instead of vice and then we become twice as guilty.