Speak Not Harshly to Anyone

Happy 400th Anniversary of Thanksgiving!

Cheon Seong Gyeong 618

All of you must have the heart that is seeking something. After praying in the morning you should be able to sense that something good will happen that day. Do not think that something good will happen on its own course, but actively start looking for whatever it is. This type of attitude is what you should have in leading a life of faith. Therefore, feelings, experiences and putting them into action will bring life to you. All this occurs during the half-awake state.

Cheon Seong Gyeong 1043

The path of salvation is a path of restoration through indemnity. Indemnity means taking the opposite course of the Fall; it means going in reverse. (167-98, 1987.6.30)

Prudent Speech

A loose or malicious tongue can cause much suffering. Evil speech can destroy friendships, ruin reputations and generate needless prejudice. It can be argued that if Jesus hadn’t been surrounded by rumors and gossip, he could have won far more acceptance by the people of his day. Since talk can cause damage to others and to oneself, one’s words should be weighed carefully.
Therefore, before we speak, we should carefully consider whether our words will be edifying or damaging to others. Before we repeat a tale we have heard, we should first ascertain whether it is true. Before we talk about doing something, we should carefully consider if we are ready to do it ourselves. Therefore, a wise person is one of few words. Good parents train their children to be well mannered and not speak overly much at meals.

You shall not go up and down as a talebearer among your people.
    Leviticus 19.16
If the ear does not hear malicious gossip, the heart is not grieved.
    Yoruba Proverb (African Traditional Religions)
False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.
    Plato, Phaedo (Hellenism)
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
    Matthew 12.35-37
Let him who believes in Allah and the last day either speak good or be silent. 
    Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi 15 (Islam)
When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but he who restrains his lips is prudent. \
    Proverbs 10.19
The Messenger of God… took hold of his tongue and said, “Restrain this.” I said, “O Prophet of God, will what we say be held against us?” He said, “May your mother be bereaved of you, Mu‘adah! Is there anything that topples people on their faces into hell-fire other than the harvests of their tongues?”
    Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi 29 (Islam)
Speak not harshly to anyone. Those thus addressed will retort. Painful, indeed, is vindictive speech. Blows in exchange may bruise you.
    Dhammapada 133 (Buddhism)
The tongue is an unrighteous world among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the cycle of nature, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by humankind, but no human being can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God.
    James 3.6-9
The origin of all trouble
within this world
is a single word
spoken in haste.
    Moritake Arakida, One Hundred Poemsabout the World (Shinto)
A noisy bird builds a bad nest.
    Kanufi Proverb (African Traditional Religions)
To be always talking is against nature. For the same reason a hurricane never lasts a whole morning, nor a rainstorm all day. Who is it that makes the wind and rain? It is Heaven and earth. And if even Heaven and earth cannot blow or pour for long, how much less in his utterances should man?
    Tao Te Ching 23 (Taoism)
The Master said, “Where disorder develops, words are the first steps. If the prince is not discreet, he loses his servant. If the servant is not discreet, he loses his life. If germinating things are not handled with discretion, the perfecting of them is impeded.”
    I Ching, Great Commentary 1.8.10 (Confucianism)
A person is born with an axe in his mouth. He whose speech is unwholesome cuts himself with his axe.
    When a person praises someone who should be blamed, or attacks someone worthy of praise, then this man is accumulating evil with his mouth and this evil will not lead to happiness.
    It is little harm if one loses money in gambling with dice, even losing everything, including oneself; but if one bears ill-will towards well-conducted ones it is greater harm indeed. Insulting men of real worth, bearing ill-will in thought and speech, leads to eons upon eons in the states of misery.
    Sutta Nipata 657-60 (Buddhism)
You who believe, if some perverse man should come up to you with some piece of news, clear up the facts lest you afflict some folk out of ignorance and some morning feel regretful for what you may have done…
    You who believe, do not let one folk ridicule another folk. Perhaps they are better than they are. Nor let women mistreat other women; perhaps they are better than themselves. Nor should you find fault with one another nor shout at one another using nicknames; it is bad to use a dirty name instead of one you can believe in. Those who do not turn away from it are wrongdoers.
    You who believe, refrain from being overly suspicious: some suspicion is a crime. Do not spy on one another, nor yet any of you slander others. Would one of you like to eat his dead brother’s flesh? You would loathe it! Heed God, for God is Relenting, Merciful.
    Qur’an 49.6-12

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