The Importance Of Speech

“If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind?”
— Buddha

I heard this quote the other day (thanks @tinybuddha), and it hit like a ton of bricks.

love_in_a_bubble.jpg pic by Trove Designs

When I was growing up, I was always told “If you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Conceptually this is the same thing, except that it’s negatively framed and a little dictatorial in tone – I guess it’s not surprising my younger self rebelled! Still, I guess this is the point where I say “Yes Mum, you were right. Again. I love you Mum.”

Buddha provides a pretty simple checklist. Makes it easy to remember.

  1. True? Yes/No.
  2. Necessary? Yes/No.
  3. Kind? Yes/No.

I thought about this a bit deeper & I realised, speech is one level, but what’s behind speech?


Couldn’t the same thing apply here? If you’re going to think anything, ensure it is True, Necessary & Kind.

Of course, the vast majority of thoughts are simply self-speech – talking to or about ourselves. We’re the cruelest & least forgiving toward ourselves, so if anything this self-speech, thought, is far, far more important to consider.

So, being the extremist that I am, I tapped those two things in – both speech & thought. Because it’s tapping IN a positive, instead of tapping OUT a negative, it’s worth having a few goes to clear out all the blocks.. but already I’m feeling my attitudes – towards those around me – and myself – softening.

It’s a path well worth travelling, no matter how few or how those steps are taken.