“Before you speak ask yourself:
Is it kind,
Is it necessary,
Is it true,
Does it improve upon the silence?”
– Shirdi Sai Baba
In our evolution as civilized beings, we now are actually able to not only hold back a stone, but hold back the insult as well, and consider, massage and then “hurl” thoughtful communication.
Before we throw something out to another person, we want to be more mindful of:
- The effect it’s going to have
- What we really want to say
- What’s going on with us
- Whether this is the right time
- Whether this is the correct person to address
Identifying our needs (often unconsciously) and attending to them is our right as members of the animal kingdom. Collaborating with one another, while acknowledging that we all share this right, honors the capacity of our humanness.
The old adage about sticks and stones has long been proven untrue, and we now appreciate the depth of word-made wounds.
Whether one is hurling a stone or a word, the intent is still to harm. Perhaps our evolution has to do with relating to one another while managing our aggression – to understanding that we can address our own needs without making the other into an opponent. We can resource into one another without the energy of emnety. This is possible. This is the premise of mediation as I understand it. And mediation, in my estimation, evidences the evolution of the legal system and problem solving as a whole.
Finding subtle, “civilized” ways to harm one another is not so much our evolution, but merely our sophistication. Our ability to practice kindness while pursuing our desires will mark our progression as a species.
In your observation, are we evolving or devolving as a species? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.