I believe that everyone should be able to speak freely and be heard. However, all too often, we speak without contemplating the outcome and without compassion. Some cultures and religions, such as the Sufi’s, have guidelines for speaking. In the Sufi tradition, you’re advised to speak after your words have passed three “tests” or gates.
- At the first gate, you ask, “Are these words true?”
- At the second gate, you ask, “Are they necessary?”
- At the third gate, you ask, “Are they kind?”
If the words do not pass the gates, find another way to speak them. Perhaps, in the heat of the moment, you might use these gates as way to temper your speech. In this way, you may find words that get your message across, but are also compassionate and will serve both of you.