To the OP I was reading this after reading your post – you may find it usefulhttp://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tions.html
I know that this may be a bit of a drift, sorry
Sometimes the answer to telling someone something that maybe harmful or offensive is to get them to realize things for themselves.
There is an old lady that I work with, who among all of her other medical conditions has advanced dementia. She would constantly call out that she wanted to see her mother. The 2 typical responses from carers were to say: she will be here tomorrow, or your mother is dead!
As someone who aspires to follow the teaching of Buddha, and having the benefit of reading some of the Cannon what I do is to try and get the old lady to come to the truth herself. I would ask her if she was older than me, then I would say that my mother was dead. I would ask her if she was older than me, she would answer “yes, so I suppose my mother is dead as well”. She would be accepting of the truth because she had realized it for herself. Her behavior of call out would cease (which had been causing distress to other residents)
In this way I consider that I have been following the precepts and not preaching false Dhamma by deigning the First Noble Truth. What I so admire about Buddha’s teaching is that there are the answer to so many of the issues in our life. Taking refuge in the Buddha and Dhamma is what helps me do my job and deal with the stresses of work.
@ Kim - you are right i am too dogmatic - need to work on that, thanks