Free Speech, Right Speech, Right Conduct
The type of world in which we live is created by our understanding and conduct. Is our view materialistic consciousness or enlightened consciousness? We have to know the difference. When we realise our true nature, our conduct must reflect this realisation. Right speech is of paramount importance as it’s an aspect of right attitude.
“I just say what I think!” And there is our problem. We quite often want a reaction, don’t we? The internet has given us the ability to say whatever we want while incognito, in disguise – it’s even encouraged. The more the reaction, the more the excitement, the more the interest, the more we take offence and become upset. It’s a vicious cycle.
To be able to have free speech, we have to know what is right speech – and right conduct. Free speech is free from bias, otherwise it is speech that creates conflict.
‘Right speech’ is part of the eightfold path to liberation:
THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH
Skilful speech can reduce suffering, while unskilful speech can increase suffering. Right speech avoids harm and idle chatter. It means speaking in a way that promotes harmony and enriches, reducing anger and easing tension. We should not speak carelessly: speech should be at the right time and in the right place. If we cannot say something useful, we should keep a ‘noble silence.’
Right speech includes humour, lightening and brightening the atmosphere. Humour increases resilience in dealing with distress by undoing negative effects.
Before we can have right speech,
we need right listening, without judgement.
Right speech is good for us all.
If we don’t know what right speech is,
we just smile