Positive wound lifting

I cannot suppress certain indignation when I see some people’s actions on the great world-stage; I confess that from time to time, I am inevitably let down, but holding others at arm’s length the whole time is infinitely more damaging and wearing.

As an ethical and spiritual question: when is right to use nastiness and public put-downs as a form of self-protection? When to ignore misbehavior, and when to step in and say something? When is it kindness to give love for anger? And when is it best to be firm and strict? I think I’m terrible at this balance, I keep deleting my own comments, for instance, and I try to reign myself in when I have nothing kind to say. But, if we don’t protect the lambs from the wolf, how can the lambs be expected to live?