Monday, 15 December 2008

Right Speech

My husband and I have different ways of handling situations and saying things. I like to think that most of the time, I practice right speech. By right speech, I mean making sure that what comes out of my mouth is at least 2 of 3 things, when possible: kind, true, and necessary. Right speech is a Buddhist concept and is divided into 4 components:

  • to abstain from false speech, especially not to tell deliberate lies and not to speak deceitfully,
  • to abstain from slanderous speech and not to use words maliciously against others,
  • to abstain from harsh words that offend or hurt others, and
  • to abstain from idle chatter that lacks purpose or depth.

It's not always an easy concept to live by, but as words have such important effects, it is something to keep foremost in one's mind. I can think of two incidents that happened this weekend where right speech was not used; one by me, and the other by my husband, neither to do with each other. Not using right speech can waste time, energy, and cause unnecessary upset. Thinking about what you say along these lines, even just a little bit more, can make a world of difference.

1 comment:

A Free Man said...

Thanks for this post. I dig this kind of thing - right speech, it's just really treating each other decently isn't it, but it's good to see it laid out like that.