Speaking with Kind Words

If we want to understand what the Dharma teaches us about building affinity and living in harmony with others, we must first understand the four great all-embracing virtues. The Buddha teaches that for us to realize our true capacity of connecting with and serving our fellow citizens, we have to first build a good rapport, and the four virtues are tools to that end. 

The four virtues are givingspeaking with kind wordsconducting oneself for the benefit of others, and adapting oneself to others.

Speaking with Kind Words

To practice the second virtue regarding amiable speech, we should compliment rather than reprehend others, encourage them rather than criticize, and use loving words rather than scathing remarks.

Many arguments and fights have been started by an unkind utterance that could have easily remained unspoken or been replaced with gentle words instead. What was once a peaceful community can degenerate very quickly into a feuding community if lies, slander and gossip spread throughout its inhabitants.

If we are not paying attention, our careless words can destroy relationships. If we are mindful in our speech, being cautious always to speak with affection, our relationships will be grounded in trust and compassion.

Loving-kindness and compassion are something that people in this life of suffering depend on. Loving-kindness and compassion provide a ray of hope in life. Society is ruthless, tyrannical, and disorderly, and today, more than ever before, people must insist on habits of being amiable and equitable with one another. People must learn to put themselves in the shoes of others and even to consider all sentient beings as one would himself or herself. This will give rise to loving-kindness and compassion.

In the words of Buddhism, “Loving-kindness and compassion have no match.” Loving-kindness and compassion can overcome all negativity. One thought of loving-kindness and compassion can eliminate greed, anger, arrogance, and fear. In this modern age of scientific development, it has been found that human communication is far more important than all the discoveries of science and technology.

How can there be perfect communication among people? It can only happen through the practice of loving-kindness, compassion, and the four means of embracing virtues: giving charity, affectionate speech, conduct beneficially to others, and cooperation with others and adaptation of oneself to others to lead them to the truth.

Only when people consider all sentient beings with the eyes, words, expression, voice, and mind of loving-kindness and compassion and create affinities with all sentient beings can society achieve harmony and peace.

From Living Affinity, written by Venerable Master Hsing Yun.

Image from Pixabay.

More Featured Articles

What we often care most for in life is the self, and the most important aspect of self is none other than destiny. During one's lifetime, destiny changes frequently because of circumstances that arise. Because of a person, an event, a word, a dollar, or even a thought, entire lives Read more
Technological progress and advances in modern science have led to material improvements that have enhanced the quality of people’s lives on many levels. Yet, no matter how much we have progressed or how advanced our technology is, there still remain fundamental problems in life that science will never be able Read more
If we want to understand what the Dharma teaches us about building affinity and living in harmony with others, we must first understand the four great all-embracing virtues. The Buddha teaches that for us to realize our true capacity of connecting with and serving our fellow citizens, we have to Read more
Human beings are social animals; we cannot live apart from community. As Buddhists, we are told to seek the Dharma among the people, for the Dharma does not exist in some other world or far away place; the Dharma is here among us, embodied in each and every being. When Read more
We should not look at life just as the limited span of one person’s life; we should look at the larger life of the universe. While a person’s life may only span a limited number of years, its value is everlasting. Read more
Most people regard the Buddhist religion as conservative and passive. Many think that Buddhism only teaches people to meditate, recite mantras and be vegetarians. They do not associate the religion with active and progressive ideas such as environmental protection. In truth, Buddhism is a religion that embodies the spirit of Read more
Sharing joy with others is not only a virtue, it is also a delightful experience.To take delight in shared joy is to give willing support to those who are compassionate in helping the needy; it is to give genuine praise to those who have dedicated themselves to the highest achievements Read more
Chan is meditation throughout our lives. When we live with Chan, the taste of food and feel of clothes will change. We will not feel difficulty when dealing with our affairs. Any matter can be laughed away. The human world has its ups and down, but when we have a Read more
Why should people create Buddha images? Did the Buddha really want everyone to make images of him and worship his body?In truth, the purpose of creating the Buddha images is not to create symbols for worship. Buddha images are reminders that “the mind is the Buddha,” and that everyone has Read more
On the path of life, sometimes we need to go straight ahead, other times we have to make turns in order to reach our goals. If we do not turn around when we need to, we will not “see the other shore.” But when we need to move ahead and Read more
When there is hope, there is a future. The worst tragedy in life is to live without hope for the future. When there is hope, there is a future. One of the mottoes of the Buddha's Light International Association is "to give others hope." That is the highest act of benevolence. Read more
While the Four Noble Truths explain the phenomena of the universe, the Buddha expounded on them mainly as a guide for life. It is inadequate, however, to merely learn the Four Noble Truths. We must resolve, cultivate and practice accordingly. We must end the causes of suffering, practice the path, Read more