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If success depends, more or less, upon our inner suppositions, how should one learn to watch oneself, so as not to poison space? Such care will teach true cautiousness. We have no right to impose upon someone else's energy - to willfully squander another's value. This is not permissible on the material as well as on the spiritual plane. And yet, out of seemingly good intentions the squandering of another's forces often occurs. Thus people think that they took something from someone, whereas the willful loan really took place in some other way. People think that they safeguarded something, but in reality they increased it and created a burden.

Many a time one could observe that friends, because of ignorance, sent very poisonous arrows at the most tense moment. May be, on the eve of a most responsible action, precisely a friendly arrow let fly rashly caused a dangerous scratch. True, the sending of the arrow was to have been in another direction, but the sender did not take into account all the inner links and involuntarily grazed just that which had to be safeguarded. And the more the cooperation was already cemented, the more dangerous could uncalculated blows have been.

It would seem that sentiments of love and devotion should sufficiently warn careless bowmen. The feeling of trust, as a basis of cooperation should remind one of caution. The innate feeling of good will should have created a prudent magnanimity. But, apparently, all these combinations are not sufficient. Perhaps, besides heartfelt care one should develop within oneself that which is called carefulness.

In each rash action there also is certain to be hurt for others and for oneself. If a man has not fully learned to exercise care toward other people, let him be cautious at least in regard to himself. Each attempt to usurp someone else's value will be a robbery, and it will be as harmful as each usurpation of someone else's property.

Cautiousness or carefulness! These two concepts are definitely connected, although at first glance they define different actions. Learning to understand cooperation helps to realize the touching significance of carefulness and cautiousness. When cooperation is comprehended, respect toward the actions of one's co-worker will be developed first of all.

If someone does something, it means he has sufficient grounds for precisely this means of expression. A co-worker, before suspecting the action as being imperfect, will first look upon it with full confidence and magnanimity. And when, after the well intended investigation of the action, the co-worker will think that something could have been done differently, he will in the best possible way try to explain why his considerations are more efficacious.

Are expressions and exclamations of animosity or wrath possible among co-workers? How can they be co-workers after this? If in one instance there can be malicious thunder and shrill cries, it means this could happen also in other instances. Who knows? Perhaps amidst the most responsible actions the very same tongues of crimson flame may flash out. It means the wine is not yet ready. It means the cooperation was not yet achieved. If a great deal has not yet been crystallized and steadied, is a responsible action possible? A test always comes on a small thing.

There is an ancient fairy tale about a king who announced that he would set forth some serious tests. All were preparing and expecting them. And then they showed surprise as to why they were postponed. Or perhaps they were cancelled, altogether? But quite unexpectedly all the co-workers were summoned and a new system of labor was announced. It appeared that the tests had already taken place. People had been tested upon the daily occurrences least noticeable to them. It was noted down when and who became irritated, when inaccuracy and wasteful-ness took place. In short, all had been weighed at the time when people were still expecting that their tests would take place in some pompous gatherings.

For such an occasion people learned some well sounding formulas, studied by heart some sayings, committed to memory formulas and calculations. And at the same time, in their daily life, not even noticing it, they themselves revealed their inner nature and qualities to a sufficient degree.

Not in vain is unexpectedness spoken about in narratives and lofty teachings. Preparedness for such "expected" surprises can be achieved only through constant vigilance and carefulness. Safeguarding a friend and co-worker, people safeguard themselves. When will it be understood that each groundless judgment is already a sign of unpreparedness for responsible actions? And yet one action, twisted or infringed upon, drags behind it a multitude of distortions. To straighten out these distortions is far more difficult than not to admit them altogether.

Friends! Let us be very cautious. Let us be very careful.


March 8, 1935

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