A bad word whispered
will echo farther than thought.
Please speak mindfully.
If only more people followed this rule, there would be a lot less suffering in the world. According to Buddhist beliefs, a person should engage in Right Speech, which is the third precept of the Noble Eightfold Path. This precept is the first part of ethical conduct, although it can be especially difficult to follow, especially when we are angry.
Right Speech can be further defined as:
- Abstaining from false speech, not telling lies, not speaking deceitfully.
- Abstaining from slanderous speech, not using malicious words against other people.
- Abstaining from harsh words that hurt and offend.
- Abstaining from speech that lacks purpose or depth.
Buddha indicated that words that are not true, beneficial, nor timely, should not be spoken. This precept is another example among Buddhist beliefs of something that is easier said than done. I have been struggling with this precept myself. As I become more mindful of what I am saying and what other people are saying, I've realized that so much of what we say is either useless or hurtful.