September 29th -
Skillful speech is a tremendous asset to all of our relationships. They ability to curb our temptations to indulge in negativity is essential to maintaining trust. Our practice instructs to concern ourselves with truthfulness, kindness, and the necessity of any utterance. Finding ourselves involved in a conversation where a person who is not present becomes the subject, we would do well to abstain from commenting at all, even excusing ourselves and moving out of earshot. If we decide to stay in the exchange there are a number of ways we can best serve the common welfare. The first, and really the least we can do is to say something good about the person who is being talked about. Secondly, we can attempt to change the subject, with the purposeful intent of extricating everyone from the negativity. Finally, and most effectively, we could listen to the complaints and then say, “you may be right, I think we should go talk to them about it right now”.