Thursday, November 12, 2009

5 weeks and 5 precepts week 4

Please keep the same respect as we have kept the past three weeks. Enjoy the journey and hope you have learned something new, with one more week left. I know I have learned a lot and have seen how it is linked to other spiritual practices.

“4. Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I vow to cultivate loving speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve others of their suffering. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I vow to learn to speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy, and hope. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to criticize or condemn thins of which I am not sure. I will refrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord, or that can cause the family or the community to break. I will make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.”

So; were you picked on in school by a bully? Told by someone you love you won’t amount to anything? Called fat, ugly or some other scaring name?
Then; have you been praised? Gotten a pat on the back? Told that you did a good job and inspired someone?
If you are lucky, you have only experienced the latter, but for many of us we have been picked on possibly still are and those words never really leave the back of our minds. For many it stays in the front of their minds and they may never able to achieve their maximum potential. While others are able to push through, because they had one person to believe in them and their potential and they have gone on to do amazing things.
Words of hate are spoken out of fear, for whatever reason. How many bullies have you watched on a school play ground, run to a car with a greeting parent to hear the same “bully words” spoken to them? Sad but true, many bullies are picked on by someone they love. This does not make it okay to say or do these things, it shows that patterns are created and continued. Even just by watching what someone may say or do and they see the reaction that can be received.
Sadly there have been many people to have died at the words of a bully or someone to have taken the words spoken by someone seriously even if it was meant as a joke. Sometimes the actions of words are taken to extremes and become violent. I am reminded of Matthew Shepherd, bullied and beaten to death for being gay, James R. Byrd Jr. bullied and beaten to death for being black. The many unspoken names of people who gave up and committed suicide and this can go on.
There are many people who have succumbed to hate speech in some form or another. Many just give up on themselves, while others have a different fate. Our words have energy and they pack a mighty punch and may impact more than a fist. Remember this next time you find yourself angry, afraid or otherwise about to speak something negative.

Peace and joy,

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