Saturday, September 29, 2007

Freedom of speech

"Remember that as you have freedom of speech, other have freedom for their sentiments too." Not exactly the original quote was said. But, meaning is same. In our zeal to exercise our freedom of speech, if  we do not care for other people's sentiments, chances are our freedom is no good.

Sometimes people take the saying -"trying to please everyone is sure recipe for failure"- too far. They get the meaning wrong. Note that the saying says that if we try to please everyone we fail. Trying to please is totally different than not hurting other people's feelings. As long as we do not hurt other people's feelings, we can still avoid failure. It is not required to hurt feelings to not to please some. Just not hurt. That's all.

Some people think sugar coating is bad. They think it amounts to being hypocritical. What is hypocrisy? Being or doing what we are not and what we do not want to do is hypocrisy. Is hurting other people's feelings our true nature? Is our real-self so stupid as to hurt itself? If we realize that you and I are not we but one, then we realize if we hurt others, we are hurting ourselves too. We are all from the same indivisible unity. We are all cut from the same fabric. So, do not assume being frank, being straight forward means requiring to hurt other people's feelings.

"When we are good to others, we are best to ourselves." - this is a golden saying to remember. There is a easy way to avoid harsh words. Just ask three progressively blocking question for every word that we would like to utter. 1) Is what I am going to say true? 2)Is what I am going to say kind? 3) Is what I am going to say necessary? If the word does not meet any of the above criteria, just cut it out and stay shut. Lincoln said -"if you keep quiet, people may think you are stupid. If you open your mouth, you leave them with no doubt."

Nice guys(&gals) do not come last. They come first in the long race. Think of long term and imagine the good will your will accumulate by being nice to people and returning kindness for rudeness. Over the time, your goodwill will be so much so that you can get even complex of complex tasks without much hassles as everyone is on your side.


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