The Ancient Wisdom in Postponing Some Responses and Decisions

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I'm reading The Ratzinger Report and enjoying Cardinal Ratzinger's insights into practical issues.

Back in May, I wrote about slowness as a virtue in The Kindling's development.

Well, here's a passage in which Ratzinger says that slowness isn't always a bad thing — that it can give a situation a chance to clarify itself:

Don't the lack of personnel and the "Roman" tempo prolong the time, when a timely decision would be called for, often in the interest of the "suspect" who cannot be left in suspense for too long?
"True," he responds, "but I should like to say that the proverbial Vatican slowness does not have negatives sides only. This is something else that I first got to understand better in Rome.
The art of soprassedere, of postponing, as you Italians say, can prove to be positive, can permit the situation to become less tense, to ripen and therefore to clarify itself.
Perhaps there is an ancient Latin wisdom here also: overly quick reactions are not always desireable, a swiftness in reflexes that is not so excessive sometimes ends up by respecting persons better."

I think this is important to bear in mind when working on The Kindling. It is a project based largely on the Internet (though with a real-world social component), and the Internet is associated with rapidity.

Even though the Internet allows us to respond to things rapidly, not everything needs an at-once response.

Not every issue needs to be resolved right now. Some situations can clarify themselves with patience, prudence, good will, and — that indispensable ingredient — the passage of time.