Today I want to talk about my meditations on maintaining Right Speech in difficult times. This step along the Noble Eightfold Path applies to this blog. It’s about what I choose to say, and how I choose to say it.
Right Speech is often presented as four abstentions: don’t lie, don’t say intentionally divisive things, don’t say abusive things, and don’t indulge in gossip. This is what makes me want to scream every time I looked at the news or social media. The lack of Right Speech, and the things that I want to say in response, are the reason for my current media hermitage.
Others have rephrased the four abstentions in the positive. Tell the truth. Say things that unite people. Be supportive and uplifting. Use speech to be agreeable and beneficial. This is a good way to reframe Right Speech. I find it to be useful filter.
Another filter that I’ve used for a long time comes from comedia Craig Ferguson. He has a three-step approach to posting things on the internet, that can apply to all interactions:
- First, does this need to be said?
- Second, does this need to be said by me?
- Finally, does this need to be said by me now?
Not every though that runs through out narcissistic, attention-seeking heads needs to be expressed. Sometimes, I’m not the right person to deliver a message. A lot of the time, there is a proper time and place to say things so that the point is not lost.
I’m far from perfect, but I’m working on being better.
May we all be well, happy and peaceful, may no harm come to us, may we all also have patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life.