Growing up, we have been taught there is a proper time for everything – to eat, to study, to work, to sleep. But little is taught or emphasised when it comes to the time to speak, especially in the modern world today.
It may seem like an insignificant aspect of life but in actual fact, knowing when and where to speak your thoughts aloud may help someone effectively or worsen the situation beyond repair. In this article, we share our observations on society’s take on the freedom of speech and some tips to exercise the right time to speak.
Modern Society’s Speech Behavior vs People In The Olden Days
There has never been a time when people learn the correct time to speak especially in this age of modern technology where the slightest remarks end up in court litany.
Whereas in the ancient times, people rarely spoke and conversed with each other as there were few activities available to gather people around, save for huge festivals and special events. When they did, words were mostly uttered with great politeness and tact, placing a large emphasis on thinking before speaking.
In comparison, today our society is more sophisticated and livelier with all kinds of celebrations and festivals, which help to bring all walks of people together.
This is the time where there are a lot of conversations going on with one another and sometimes, a slip of our tongue ends up antagonizing people and in certain graver circumstances, may even land us into a court case of libel. And this is where we need to learn the importance of the criteria for right speech:-
- a proper time to speak,
- a congenial place to share our thoughts,
- and lastly, ensuring the truth and beneficial aspect of our speech in any presentation.
Freedom of Speech
We should never believe there is always freedom of speech in this world nor can we simply utter anything that is not a reliable source of information or merely a hearsay because all this sort of unreliable information could land us in deep trouble.
Additionally, freedom of speech does not tantamount to slandering others nor giving disparaging remarks on others unless we have full proof of solid evidence and truthful alibis to our allegations. Even then, we need to find the correct time and ideal situation before we could reveal any of this sensitive news to the public.
There is a saying that it is better to bite our tongue whenever we want to criticize others while shouting to advertise at the roof when there is a chance to praise people. We should know when to be silent and when to speak. Also, the more we befriend people the more harmonious our living, while the more we antagonise people the more problems we will face in the future as everywhere our enemies are surrounding us.
Analysing The Different Human Characters From Speech
Without a doubt, the human character varies among different types of people. Some would enjoy gossiping while others indulge in slandering people and deceiving others.
Even more common are those who speak without caution whether those words spoken are malicious or have slighted someone’s feelings. Modern people even have the tendency to tell lies and manipulate with sweet words onto their intended victims, rather than communicating with sincerity.
Only in rare cases do we find certain people who speak with clear conscience and truthfulness in their speech. This latter part of the people usually belongs to trained and successful cultivators.
Tips To Practise The Right Time to Speak
Generally, whenever we face a sudden trying situation, we will usually feel panic and in a frenzy state of mind, and tend to hastily commit more wrong actions or mistakes which in turn, leads to more problematic situations. On the contrary, when we face any dilemma with a calm and steady mind, our mind will gradually emit a solution intuitively to resolve our problem instead.
Here are some pointers on two of the most common scenarios of life, in which we can learn more about applying the proper time to speak from these events.
Highlighting someone’s mistakes
Everyone at one time or the other will commit mistakes, and when these mistakes are pointed out openly, friction comes into play and arouses misunderstandings and hatred.
This is one of the unbeneficial actions we need to rectify by choosing a good time to speak out about a person’s mistakes. Preferably, one should privately engage in a pleasant manner and conversation with regards to these people’s shortcomings without slighting anyone in the public, thus creating a face-saving scenario.
Apart from that finding the correct moment to speak, we should look into the ideal condition and proper place or situation to highlight one’s mistake. We should never at the heat of the moment flare up our temper, even though the mistake is indeed grave and ill-made.
Learn when to speak and when to listen, before you approach the person’s errors, for patience is the greatest panacea in remedying a trying situation. There is also a saying that the slightest moment of endurance in a frictional situation will obliterate our split seconds of danger and confrontational crisis.
Dealing with cancer patient
Let’s shift our attention to the situation of a person contracted with cancer. Many doctors or family members will simply reveal the fact to the patient without the slightest thought that the cancer patient may not readily accept such a traumatic experience.
By right, anyone who has contracted a cancer disease should always be imbibed with positive thinking of confidence, endurance, patience, trust, and perseverance before the illness gets better and the patient gradually gets cured. Unfortunately, most of the time cancer patients are full of hysteria, impatient, unsteady in their mind, worrisome, and full of anxiety in their living, which only leads to greater impact of aggravation onto their illness.
The correct approach is to find a time where the patient’s mood is good and calm before we finally give a casual presentation of the cancerous disease with denotation of hope and positive thinking of the mind. We should always have empathy towards others and visualise how difficult it will be to accept any adverse news without finding an ideal time to speak and the correct moment to reveal the unwelcoming news.
The Absence of Truth In Speech In Today’s Society
Rightfully, whatever we have spoken must always be truthful and factual and we should never rely on any hearsay or rumour based on other people’s testimonies. Such information is considered third party knowledge and this should never be accepted as truth unless personally verified to be true.
This is because the information could be diluted or deviated from the truth, thereby causing injustice to others who are innocent without any opportunity of defense. Sometimes, people could mistake assumptions for truth without actually witnessing the whole incident, and this is actually a frivolous act and malice with intent.
Sadly in today’s world of living, the three important criteria of speaking are conspicuously absent in our society. Many of us are in total disregard of ensuring all our speeches are truthful and factual, beneficial in revelations, and lastly pleasant in terms of the speech’s content.
Many people end up giving distorted and misconceived information, which often lead to civil libel cases and racial disharmony. Truly modern people lack moral values and discipline in life due to wrong upbringings and the dire lack of informal education at home. This is indeed a regression of our current society, a sad state in which we witness in today’s so called advanced world.
We can never achieve anything successful in our life if we do not believe in discipline, respect and obedience in law and order with others regardless of race, creed, or class. It does not matter if others succumb to evil temptations and hate speech but we should never join in the wagon path led by these immoral people.
That said, it is important that we always live up to our motto of finding the correct time to speak, ensuring the beneficial outcome of our speech, and not forgetting, to make effort in maintaining the pleasantness in our speech presentation.
In light of that, always remember the golden motto of “Do unto others as Others do unto us”. This golden verse will hold our life to excel in anything we do because for every respect, goodwill, harmony, love and care for others, the good reactions will come in multiple folds of reciprocation beyond your vision and expectations.