“Right speech outlines an entire continent of life. I have often thought that if a person were to adopt only one aspect of the peaceful life, this would be it because all morality, relatedness, and self-knowledge are merely provinces within the conglomerate empire of right speech. If I want to live by right speech, I have to know what I think and feel in order to be able to actually parlay the truth that my posture and tone may already be conveying. But to blurt out abrupt, hurtful words, even if they are accurate, isn’t acceptable to Buddha’s ideal, and so I not only have to search for my sense of truth in the moment of interaction, but I have to simultaneously find a channel that is ‘gentle, soothing…courteous.’ Finally, right speech demands loving words that are honest—this is its apex. To live by right speech, I not only have to be a self-psychologist and a linguist, but I have to learn how to find love in the ordinary gray-day facts. Right speech is predicated on disregard for calculation, on cohesion of word and act, and on honest affection sentence after sentence.”
Cultivating Inner Peace: Exploring the Psychology, Wisdom and Poetry of Gandhi, Thoreau, the buddha and Others
I had a pleasant buzz of resonance when I read this. It captures my love of language, nonviolent communication and speech as a means of connection and creating a better world.