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A 16 Guidelines view on

Right Speech

Words! Love them or hate them, it often feels like we’re drowning in the noise they create – not only in our own ears, or on the page, but in our heads. They have the power to uplift us and to cast us down, to liberate and to entrap. They create friendships and make enemies. They can gain us great wealth and lose us everything we possess. The power of speech is so great that words cannot do it justice.

As soon as a child learns to speak, its life and relationships change. Countless daily choices come next. Whether to speak loudly or quietly, fast or slow. What words to use. When to speak or to be silent. We learn how to use our speech through trial and error, and in doing so create an image and style that will define our personality and shape our lives.

Right speech is a commitment to use words skillfully, in a way that will bring peace and happiness to ourselves and the people around us. It is about using our speech to take away fear, to bring hope, to make people laugh and feel closer to one another. This is how we share who we are.

Right Speech

To speak with insight and sensitivity

A reflection on 

Right Speech

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The benefits of

Right Speech

  • save us from getting into arguments and situations that we will later regret

  • enable us to develop warm, sensitive and harmonious friendships and relationships

  • develop the skill of knowing how, what and when to share our thoughts and feelings

Did you know?

Research at the Georgia Institute of Technology concluded that gossip makes up 15 percent of office e-mail, and is 2.7 times more likely to be negative.  Another research from the University of Groningen concluded that gossip triggers self- conscious emotions.

‘Open your mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than silence.’

Arabic Proverb

‘Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate, ask yourself, is it true? At the second gate, ask is it necessary? At the third gate, ask is it kind?’


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