Saturday, March 06, 2010

Skillful Speech

Skillful speech begins by refraining from lying, slander, profanity, and harsh language. We should avoid language that is rude, abusive, disagreeable, or malicious, and we should abstain from talk that is foolish, idle, babble, or gossip. What remains are words that are truthful, kind, gentle, useful, and meaningful. Our speech will comfort, uplift, and inspire, and we will be a joy to those around us. -Allan Lokos "Skillful Speech"

I have always thought that gossip is kind of fun. Not malicious and hateful behind your back gossip, but just knowing and telling the scoop about what's going on with my friends type gossip. That seems innocent enough, but talking about people when they are not present can be considered meaningless idle chatter. Good or bad, if I am talking about someone who is not present, it is unskillful use of speech. As I am writing this, I am remembering all the gossip I engage in on a regular basis and I am a little shocked at how much I do it. It makes me feel good, like I'm really "in the know" about things. But, some of the things I say might hurt someone, if they knew I was talking about them. And yes, if I am talking about someone who is not present is not good. For them, for me and for my spiritual journey. Gossip is a distraction.

You can hardly help but hear gossip about famous people, its everywhere. Of course, they say that most of celebrity gossip is untrue, but sometimes its fun to hear anyway. However, I am doing my best to let that kind of talk go in and immediately go out of my mind. I don't want to give it any consideration at all. One of my favorite tv shows is The Joy Behar Show...the show is all about the hot topics of the day. I wonder if watching it is a way of participating in gossip? I think it is. Should I stop watching it? Probably.

I am now thinking about Facebook. My first thought is that its okay because everyone is talking about themselves. But I think the idea of Facebook needs to be considered. Huh.