As we go through our everyday lives, we do not really know if the people we encounter are going through a tough time. Usually, they don’t share it with us. And the words we use to speak to them could either encourage or discourage them. That is why it is important to ask ourselves these three questions when we speak: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? Perhaps there are times that our best course of action is to say nothing at all. When we ourselves are angered by something, or otherwise feel intense emotions at any given time, maybe it is best to practice silence instead of saying something we would later on regret. All of us have been recipients of unkind words, and we have ourselves experienced how damaging that can be, and that even as we forgive and let go, we cannot really forget.
The yoga practice teaches us to pause in lieu of reacting without thinking. We can use this pause and apply it to our speech. When unsure, we can ask ourselves: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? And when the words we had intended to use do not pass this test, we consciously choose silence. And then, if someone happens to be in a deep pit, we refrain from causing harm, we avoid passing on to them our own negativity. It is the least we can do for those around us who are already suffering.