“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.” ~Siddhartha Gotoma or BUDDHA (probably from 563 to 483 B.C.)
In his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz says, “Always be impeccable with your word.” I love this, because there is so much embedded in such a simple phrase.
The word “impeccable” means faultless, irreproachable. Our words are our way of communicating to the outside world. They also are a reflection of who we are inside. Once words have been spoken, they are out there, and cannot be erased.
Being impeccable with our word means several things to me. Firstly, it means that our words impact others, so we must be careful how we use them so as not to hurt or harm others. Any message can be conveyed to others in a way that is dignified and respectful, regardless of what they have said or done.
It also means being careful what we say. To use our words to gossip, to malign or denigrate others is far from impeccable. Our words have power, and that power should be used for good. What purpose is possibly served when two or more people pick apart someone else? When this happens, words are used to negate and belittle another human being. This says more about the gossipers than it does about the subject of their criticism.
Finally, being impeccable with our word means being truthful. It means not using words to deceive or mislead others. It also means being true to our word: following through and doing what we said we would do.
It is easy to use our words carelessly, not thinking of the impact they may have on others, or on the way we are perceived. When we practice impeccability, we are honoring ourselves, others and our species.
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