We tend to hear words pleasant to the ear but have displeasure and resentment at words harsh to the ear. A man, especially one occupying an important position, needs tolerance and magnanimity to lend an ear to truthful yet offensive words with heartfelt admiration so as to gain wisdom from them, and those qualities can be only cultivated through the nurturing of the soul and the restraint in human weaknesses. Otherwise, opportunities are exploited to the advantage of those with sweet words on the lips to tickle the ear of others, only to hurt those loyal people outspoken in their remarks.
Intellectually, we are probably willing to believe in the ancient truths that we’ ll be enlightened if we listen to both sides and we will be benighted if we heed only one side, that honest advice, though unpleasant to the ear, benefits conduct. Also, we are delightfully convinced of Laotzi’s philosophy that true words are not embellished and the embellished words are not true. However, in our behaviours, we tend to depart from those estabilished maxims, reluctant to accept and follow those uncomfortable truths until eventually grave errors are committed.