98% of the time I have seen Right Speech mentioned on the Internet ( several decades now ) it has been about people trying to silence alternative views through shame or people who can’t handle conflict trying to stifle a genuine conversation.
I enjoy humor and standing up for what is right has always been one of my core values.
Strict Right Speech is mostly incompatible with both, so I decided to follow what I could.
Despite never having strong motivation for it, over the years I’ve noticed the benefits.
It always came at cost of biting my tongue, full expressing myself.
Given the politics of the last few years I got to a not so skillful point of thinking “if they are going to dump on me, I don’t mind responding in kind”
Interestingly enough, over the last few months I have found myself observing a genuine distaste for wrong speech. Right speech still feels like a jacket two sizes too small, but I see the distaste for the alternative as a positive sign that alignment with the wisdom behind Right Speech starting to grow in me.
It isn’t the dhamma, but I think part of the path is growing naturally to have a disposition in line with the dhamma. Of course, I do think maintaining restraint for people who are not there yet has value to those people, society, and for cultivating a natural disposition for that kind of behavior.
Thank you for wording this so accurately. I fint this discourse you are describing to be a kind of a two edged sword. I personally find that its no wrong things to say, just many wrong ways to understand. I jump into it when I should just as much as I should not, I trust balance as there is value in being wrong in a discourse.
However Its useful to get into that, just the question, why? Why should I add in to what you said. I think its polite to show that I recognize the value of your words. Yet while probably being on the other side of the conclusion, I rather not take any point on that. I found myself in the words before that.
"As I noticed that it leads to my own affliction, it subsided. As I noticed that it leads to the affliction of others… to the affliction of both… it obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding, it subsided. Whenever thinking imbued with sensuality, ill-will, or harmfulness had arisen, I simply abandoned it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.
“Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with renunciation, abandoning thinking imbued with sensuality, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with renunciation. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with non-ill will, abandoning thinking imbued with ill will, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with non-ill will. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with harmlessness, abandoning thinking imbued with harmfulness, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with harmlessness.”—MN 19