The Heart of Wise Speech?

Rereading the introduction to Oren Jay Sofer’s Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication, I was astonished by a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh.  (Note: I have broken it into pieces to highlight the commitments.)

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to

  • cultivating loving speech and
  • deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve others of suffering.

Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am determined to

  • speak truthfully,
  • with words that inspire self-confidence, joy, and hope.
  • I will not spread news that I do not know to be certain
  • and will not criticize or condemn things of which I am not sure.
  • I will refrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord, or words that can cause the family or the community to break.
  • I am determined to make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

From Oren Jay Sofer, Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication (Boulder: Shambala, 2018) 2.
Attributed to Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy and Liberation (New York: Harmony Books, 1998) 84.