Saturday, June 02, 2007

Buddha in Your Backpack: Everyday Buddhism for Teens

I was flipping through this book, and the section titled "School Issues" caught my eye. The author discusses how to apply right speech, which can be especially difficult in the social environment of schools. From page 81, something we can all think about, Buddhist or not:

Following the words of the Buddha, here's how to practice right speech:

  • If it's not true, not beneficial, and disagreeable, don't say it.
  • If it's not true, not beneficial, and agreeable, don't say it.
  • If it's true, not beneficial, and disagreeable, don't say it.
  • If it's true, not beneficial, and agreeable, don't say it.
  • If it's true, beneficial, and disagreeable, know when to say it.
  • If it's true, beneficial, and agreeable, know when to say it.

  • It goes on to explain that

    two great virtues of Buddhism are wisdom and compassion. To follow the advice of the Buddha, you need both. You start with wisdom, which tells you what's true and beneficial. Those are the things worth saying. [ . . .] Compassion helps you know when to say what's true, because compassion is all about the other person, not about you.

    I haven't read the rest of the book, but I really liked this section.

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