An educator or counsellor must review carefully both the virtues and shortcomings of a pupil, reflecting on them with great deliberation.

With precision, he must assess and weigh each virtue and deficiency in order to neither underestimate nor overestimate them.

This is similar to the review and reflection of a craftsman who examines and inspects an item requiring repair:

A craftsman's first step in repairing an article is to disassemble it, taking care not to break even the defective part.

Next, he considers every component individually, the flawless as well as the faulty, categorizing each as being either good, adequate, or defective.

Then, he reviews each part once more, deciding whether his classification was accurate.

Finally, the craftsman selects the manner of repair, deciding how to remove the faulty piece and with what to replace it, how to improve the adequate parts, and how to strengthen the good pieces.

He also reflects on the order of repair and with which part to begin. [Through this systematic approach he can properly fix the item.]

Then [afterwards, when his work is complete], the article will leave his hands in an excellent and beautiful state of repair.

It is unnecessary to explain all the details of this analogy of a craftsman who is diligent in his repair of an article, in its analogue of an educator or counsellor who is diligent in his educational work.

Indeed, it is impossible to explain all the particulars, except to present some general guidelines, and "give [instruction] to a wise man, and he will become wiser still," in choosing various forms of education or guidance.

Primarily, an educator or counsellor must be calm and patient, directing his mind and heart, in a sagacious manner, to even the smallest detail that pertains to a pupil and his education.

An educator's or counsellor's relationship to his pupil must be very firm and strong, as well as unwavering, so that a pupil will know full well that when given a certain directive about his studies or his conduct, his educator or counsellor will not change his mind; nothing will prevent his educator or counsellor from ensuring that his instructions are followed - be it through kindness or stern discipline.

Only an extremely resolute and firm education can place a pupil on a truly sound and principled foundation, so that "...even when he grows old, he will not turn from it."

The firmest and most forceful, however, must be permeated with well-ordered [feelings of] love and consideration.

Aside from the fact that love and consideration will make a pupil more receptive to an educator’s or counsellor's instruc tions, there are five other benefits to this approach:

1) An educator's or counsellor's stature grows in the eyes of a pupil when he sees the determination of his educator or counsellor.

2) A pupil sees that the tenacity and resoluteness of his educator or counsellor, and his close watch of every detail regarding the pupil's studies or conduct, are motivated not by meanness or anger, but by his love for him.

3) This approach will most assuredly augment:

a) a pupil's love for his educator or counsellor,

b) a pupil's trust in his educator or counsellor,

c) a pupil's obedience to his educator or counsellor,

and a pupil's compliance with his instructions.

4) The aforementioned manner of conduct demonstrates to a pupil how to apply the attributes of firmness and strength in a worthwhile and beneficial way.

5) This type of conduct will teach a pupil the fundamentals and principles of decorum and proper behavior.


An educator or counsellor must relate to his pupil with: a) resolute firmness, and b) love and consideration.