Posted on January 22, 2009
The founder of the Jewish mystical movement Hasidism,the Baal Shem Tov, taught his followers that each person was born with a fixed number of words to speak. When the last word of the allotted number of words was spoken, that person would die.
I wish I had learned this sooner, I would have been more careful with my words. I certainly would have been more kind.
I cannot really say that I believe this idea to be true, but there is a beauty to it. It forces one to pay attention. My sister is friends with a man who never lies. He made a vow to never lie, and he never does. Not even white lies. He is not cruel either, he lives with a profound respect for the word, and each he speaks is full of integrity. He thinks before he speaks. I do not always do this. Often I have regretted things I have said, and often there is no way to take them back. I will make it my practice to do no harm with my words, to practice lovingkindness with right speech. This will require me to slow down, and be conscious of my motivation and my intent. This can only be good thing, difficult, but good.