Friday, August 21, 2009

True? Kind? Necessary?

I have been considering the question of what to say and, frankly, when to keep my mouth shut. To be honest, this is the challenge of a lifetime. I find this much easier to decide when I am interacting with strangers and acquaintances. This is difficult when I am talking about my relationships with friends, and especially family. I also know that I am not alone in this communication struggle because I hear examples from others all the time.

Why is it that many of us think we know best? That we have the answer that will solve her problem, even when there are plenty of times when we have a tough time finding the best solution for ourselves. If he would only listen to me.... yeah, as if my life is perfect and always operating smoothly!

Recently I was at a meeting where someone remarked that at work, when she wants very badly to say something about a situation that is bugging her, she sometimes has her wits about her and remembers to stop and think first before speaking, asking herself -
Is it true?
Is it kind?
Is it necessary?
Later that day, I received my daily "Thought for the Day" from Eknath Easwaran's book Words to live By, with the very same reminder. Though these questions probably originated many years ago from the teachings of a wise sage, I felt I was getting a clear message from the universe today to consider my words carefully. When put to this test, often, my best response is silence. These are very helpful questions to teach children. But even more important, they are probably best learned through example.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am using this too. Is it necessary seems to come to my mind before I speak. Usually it is the best thing to think about before putting the words in motion. Thanks Glo.