I resolve not to use divisive speech. 

Instead, I will speak words that 

foster harmony and understanding. 

Divisive speech is that which causes discord among people. Whether we do so intentionally or unintentionally, whether we are telling the truth or not, we’re sowing the seeds for friction between people.

Why would we do this?

Perhaps we’re in a bad mood.

Perhaps we’re feeling disheartened and are thus careless of who we strike out at.

Perhaps we’re jealous of a relationship, even to the point of wanting to destroy it.

Perhaps we heard some gossip about an acquaintance and just can’t resist the urge to pass it on to others in our circle.

Perhaps we feel that belittling our competition to our boss will better our chances of getting a promotion.

We have plenty of reasons. But divisive words are cruel, careless, and destructive. They are not the words of a caring, purposeful person. Instead, we need to speak truthfully and prudently in a way that nurtures accord and fosters understanding between people.



Adorn yourself not with the gems of this world . . . (Click image for video)


I resolve not to use harsh speech. 

Instead, I will speak words that 

benefit others and foster peace. 

The paramita of giving involves three categories: wealth, teachings, and fearlessness. When we give fearlessness, we ease others’ distress and nurture their feelings of safety. If, however, we’re using bad language, belittling others, offending or hurting others with our abrasive speech or tone of voice, raising our voices—we’re using harsh speech.

And we’re giving fear.

Not fearlessness.

Our speech can have lasting effects. The harsh words we blurt out will be stored in our consciousness. We also run the genuine risk of having them firmly embedded in the other person’s consciousness as well. In the heat of the moment, when we’re too wrapped up in our feelings to allow our mindfulness to weigh in on what we’re about to say, we create great harm.

What to do? Remain silent. Listen to the other person. Think before opening our mouth.