We can be assertive, while being compassionate. After all, what was at the heart of the Saffron Rebellion?
There is still a lesson here that my memory could not completely weave so well on its own today:
From the Buddhist perspective the only significance of the Buddha’s last meal is that it demonstrated once again his infinite capacity for compassion. When he realized that the end was near, he immediately thought that Cunda might be blamed for causing his death. To prevent this from happening he instructed Ānanda to return to Cunda’s village and tell him that to serve a Buddha his last meal was a most auspicious and blessed act. Thus, even being sick, exhausted and nearing death the Buddha’s only thought was for the welfare of others.
I had to reflect on this, as it applies to me. Don't take my word for it that it applies to you.
Attachment to balance creates a struggle = not skilful peace of mind =no peace of mind.
We all, as practitioners, value a lack of resentment. However, it can look passive aggressive if apologies are not responded to with humility, as if they are a cherished gift. Even if the resentment was as short lived as the ripple of a teardrop in the ocean or never even existed, the gift is at our feet.
An apology might just be a gift even if it is given while you are referenced in the third person or in another type of unskillful manner. An apology may be given to you in a backhanded manner, as if it is poison, or with an explanation for harmful behavior that is without any merit.
If we are truly at peace, then we will not be preoccupied with its quality as if we are critiquing a diamond for our true love. If the apology is unskillfully prepared as a perfunctory meal or if is misrepresented as a feast it can be a jewel worth its own reflection.
Sometimes those distinctions of quality may not promote a healthy, assertive state of being. It can be an opportunity to establish interpersonal boundaries and mutual respect, or it can be squandered because we are too preoccupied with how blue the sky is, or how green the fields are.
After all, being truly at peace may generate a sense of humility that is instinctual.
After all, compassion may arise in the projection and introspection, because projection and introspection are of the same nature.
Again, compassion can be a source of fearlessness to the extent that we do not get attached to our balance.
Again, don't take my word for it. Experience it for yourself!