Practicing Loving Speech

The Fourth Mindfulness Training is concerned with practicing loving speech and deep listening. A practitioner commits to speaking from her or his heart with complete honesty, sincerity, and authenticity.

In these days when we have an absence of loving speech from many political candidates and people in charge of hiding the truth of what happened on 9/11, it is important to look into the past and recollect better times.

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, a Remarkable Truth Sayer!

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, a Remarkable Truth Sayer!

“Traditionally, honesty has had a secure place in the pantheon of moral virtues. To the ancient Romans, who believed that the illuminating sunshine of truthfulness engendered honorable behavior of every kind, the goddess Veritas (Latin for truth) was considered ‘the mother of virtue.’ The Romans had lots of company in this view. Confucius considered honesty to be the primary source of love, communication, and fairness in human relationships. In the Western tradition, the Bible prohibits bearing false witness as one of its Ten Commandments. In the United States, the two most heralded presidents (George Washington, who ‘could not tell a lie,’ and Abraham Lincoln, known as Honest Abe) were widely known for their truth telling. The world’s literature is so packed with tributes to honesty that literally thousands of immortal quotations on the matter can be gathered by a quick online search.

“These public celebrations of honesty stem from a universal recognition: A basic assumption that most people can usually be taken at their word is required for all sustained civilized dealings. No civilization could tolerate for long a general expectation of untrustworthy communications. Human relations require the trust that people will, as a rule, try to tell the truth. This provides both a practical and a moral demand for truth telling.”

William Damon and Anne Colby from The Power of Ideals

Would you support me in encouraging the candidates to focus on loving speech rather than bashing each other?

Can you make a commitment to study and practice loving speech?

Books by William Damon and Anne Colby

The Power of Ideals: The Real Story of Moral Choice

William Damon
Anne Colby

Cynicism often seems a smarter choice than idealism. There are reasons for this. Politicians have disappointed us time and again; trusted institutions have proven to be self-serving and corrupt; hopes for lasting world peace repeatedly have been dashed; and social inequities persist and increase, un…

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