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Posted on Monday, February 25th, 2013

Dave!I'm drinking chocolate milk and watching Castle reruns.

I swear it's true.

Lying or Wrong Speaking as it's known, is something to be roundly avoided according to Buddhist teachings. Outwardly, this is to promote harmony and good will, but that's not the only benefit. It all basically boils down to this: "If you can't speak truthfully and honestly, keep silent, because anything less only causes harm to others... and yourself."

Don't get me wrong, it's tough... really tough... to be honest all the time. But ultimately I find it makes my life easier, so I try my best to speak the truth whenever I can (I'm a terrible liar anyway). Sure I fail from time to time, but my effort is genuine, and this has paid off for me more often than not.

But Wrong Speaking encompasses more than just lying. It also refers to saying rude or hateful things. Or spreading gossip. Or speaking harshly. Or promoting violence. Or any of hundreds of other things that might hurt people... or reflect badly on you as a caring, open-minded, considerate individual.

Not lying is a piece of cake compared to all that.

And yet... I keep trying, because I think Right Speaking an admirable goal.

The problem is that keeping silent when you have nothing positive to add to a conversation can be easily misinterpreted. People might think you're not paying attention. Or disinterested. Or uncaring. Or mute. Or just plain rude. To compensate for this, I have been making an effort to find positive things to say in a negative conversation.

So now people just think I'm crazy.

I'm not sure if this is better or worse than people thinking me inattentive, disinterested, uncaring, mute, or rude.

But, hey, that Jay Leno sure is a breath of fresh air, amirite?

Categories: DaveLife 2013Click To It: Permalink


  1. Kyra Wilson says:

    I think saying something negative isn’t the same as saying something mean. Sometimes the negative has to be expressed in order to create the opportunity for change.

    I also avoid the lying and the meanness. Which may be why I avoid people, in general because most people don’t.

    • Dave2 says:

      Oh, yes… it’s perfectly okay to disagree, deny, or express a contrary opinion… but doing it in a positive way and for positive motives is the key (and the challenge!). I don’t think of that as being negative at all.

  2. Megan says:

    I think you’ll find that the more you practice this, the easier it will get. You’ll find out if you are more comfortable with being thought crazy or disinterested. I usually opt for the later.

    What matters is what you think about you.

  3. i actually really enjoy finding positive things to say, even in negative conversations. of course it has accused me of being pollyanna, but i just don’t give a fuck what negative folks think of me.

  4. Poppy says:

    Wrong speaking is very subjective. As is right speaking.

    • Dave2 says:

      I suppose it can be, and everybody needs to decide for themselves where that line is. But I don’t believe that absolutes are necessarily impossible or bad. Some people believe ALL lies are “Wrong Speaking” because even when we’re lying for a good reason or to spare somebody pain, it’s still not the truth, and you are better off saying nothing if the truth might cause harm. That’s pretty hard to take… but, still, an admirable goal if you can do it.

  5. Donna says:

    As you may know, I have a little trouble with the second part of the wrong speaking thing. I rarely lie so I’m good there but I’ve never managed the be silent part…yeah.

    I will say that I was extremely proud of myself the last time my stepkid’s mother, who is the most fake person ever created (maybe not, but roll with it) pulled her incredibly fake, “Oh how nice to see you! You look beautiful!!” fake ass bullshit routine. I looked at her and said, “Please stop talking” and then I walked away. Which is good because orange is a horrible colour on a redhead. Ya know?

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