Think Before You Speak

“Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve the silence?”  -Sai Baba

I have been a compulsive talker most of my life. Speaking without thinking is a terrible affliction, one which has hurt me and most of the people around me at one time or another. How many times I wished, usually immediately, that I could take back some tactless, selfish, or venomous thing that flew out of my mouth in the presence of friends and family.

I must be getting wiser with age, though, because I am finding as of the last few months that the lesson my father was always trying to teach me, the one so well-stated in the guru’s quote above, is finally settling in: Think before you speak. Think before you offer an opinion, tell tales that aren’t yours to tell, judge, offer unwanted advice, step on other people’s expressions of their experience.

I haven’t learned it perfectly. Lord knows I have already made a misstep or two in the last couple of weeks at work. But I am acutely aware of it in a way I never was before and that awareness is what will make the lesson stick.

Honestly, this is one lesson I never thought I would learn, which makes this all the more eye-opening. It feels like growth. It feels like maturity. I like it.

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