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On first glance, the impulse is to disagree with this. How can it be better to cause pain than it is to save one from pain? The world is cruel, why contribute to further cruelty? Heck, turn on the tv and you can find dozens of examples of people being ill used by others. That’s before you even make it to the premium channels.

So why not spare people you know the pain and indignity of a comment which may hurt? Surely you can find a kind way to get the message across can’t you?

How do you kindly tell an addict they need to quit? You start with euphemisms. You are drinking a bit much, but it’s okay, you can stop. You might want to quit now. But I understand how hard it is. Don’t worry it will be okay. Each phrase is designed to gently, and kindly explain that there’s an issue needing to be addressed. The problem is, that message doesn’t make it across. By the time it registers, it may be too late.

Causing pain doesn’t mean you are doing so out of malice. A doctor causes pain at times with the intention to heal the patient. There’s not a pain free way to lance a boil. At times there’s not a pain free way to deliver a truth the must be heard. Seeking to avoid giving pain is noble. Avoiding pain at the cost of a needed truth is not. In a world where character and integrity are eroding, it’s important to remember that we can’t just ignore things that hurt.