A father guides his son lovingly

The words, " my son", show that this is guidance that comes from love - a father's love for his son. "Listen , my son..." - Since you are my son and are close to my heart, I am giving you "mussar". The most important way a father shows love for his son, is by watching over him and making sure that he behaves correctly. He corrects him so that he will deserve life in the World-to-Come. When a person gives "mussar" out of love, he will never put the other person down. Instead, he will point out how special the person is, and show him that behaving in this bad way, is not fitting for a person like him.
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