I was reading Archbishop Thomas Menamparambil's book, Never Grow Tired for meditation this morning. Precisely speaking I was at the section containing his talk to the deacons preparing for their ordination. One of the points he mentions therein is to distinguish the need to impose one's own ideas from making oneself acceptable to the people whom we serve.
Reflecting in the context of my apostolate here in the Philosophate, I realise I have to constantly make my points clear and convey things (most often not easily taken by the Brothers)... well, I can't help it in a way, after all I'm supposed to be the disciplinarian of the house! But I also realise that when I make efforts to ensure that Brothers see that I'm not one to dictate terms to them and take off for a holiday, leaving them alone to slog it out, I make myself acceptable. There are several ways in which I can win their favour and their attention and when I dish out my instructions or guidelines having done that - even if bitter or difficult - they are better prepared to accept and follow. Firm but reasonable! It works!