Speak with Care: The Three Questions We Should Ask Ourselves Before Talking

Text to speech

In our everyday chats and talks, words are the key way we share our feelings, thoughts, and plans. The old wisdom of Sufi poet, Rūmī, gives us a timeless guide to thoughtful communication through the metaphor of three gates. Before we let our words out into the world, Rūmī advises us to let them pass through these checkpoints or “gates”, each asking an important question: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? These three questions create a philosophical framework that invites us to explore the heart of mindful and caring communication.

Gate One: Is it True?

Starting our journey through the first gate, we are encouraged to think about how truthful our words are. In a time where false information can spread quickly through our social and digital worlds, sticking to the truth is vital. Speaking truth is not just about being factually correct but also includes being sincere and authentic in what we say. It’s a promise to make sure our words reflect our real thoughts and feelings, building a base of trust and honesty in our talks.

Gate Two: Is it Necessary?

Moving our words towards the second gate, we are encouraged to think about their necessity. In the huge sea of dialogue and discussion, not every word wave needs to hit the conversation shore. Asking if our words are necessary invites us to judge the impact and relevance of what we say within the dialogue.

Is the information being shared adding value to the conversation? Is it building understanding, or just adding to the noise of unchecked dialogue? By pausing to think about the necessity of our words, we nurture mindful communication, ensuring that what we add to a conversation is meaningful and constructive.

Gate Three: Is it Kind?

The third and final gate asks us to fill our words with kindness. Kindness in communication is a display of empathy, compassion, and consideration for the emotional and psychological well-being of the listener. It’s a gentle reminder that our words have the power to heal or harm, to lift up or tear down, and thus, must be filled with a kind intentionality.

Starting a Journey of Mindful Communication

As we navigate through our interactions, guided by the wisdom contained in Rūmī’s three gates, we start a journey towards mindful and compassionate communication. It’s a journey that invites us to speak truths filled with sincerity, to utter words that are necessary and meaningful, and to express ourselves with a kindness that respects the emotional and psychological well-being of our listeners.

The Practicality of Truthful Communication

Going deeper into the first gate, sticking to truth in our communication is not just a moral duty but a practical necessity. In our personal relationships, truthfulness forms the solid ground upon which trust is built. Moreover, in the wider societal context, truthful communication is vital to create an informed and enlightened community.

The Art of Necessary Dialogue

Moving through the second gate, we explore the art of necessary dialogue. The question of necessity prompts us to evaluate the impact and relevance of our words, ensuring that they serve a constructive purpose. This gate invites us to explore the balance between silence and speech, recognizing that sometimes the most powerful form of communication is to listen actively and empathetically.

Kindness: A Universal Language

As we move through the third gate, we immerse ourselves in the universal language of kindness. Kindness in communication goes beyond cultural, linguistic, and social barriers, creating connections that are deeply human and profoundly impactful.

Rūmī’s Wisdom in Modern Times

Rūmī’s wisdom, although ancient, finds deep relevance in our modern world. In an age defined by digital communication, where words can be spread globally with a simple click, the three gates serve as a relevant reminder to communicate with mindfulness and compassion.

Implementing the Three Gates in Daily Life

Implementing the principles of the three gates in our daily communication involves conscious effort and practice. It involves cultivating a habit of pausing before we speak, allowing ourselves a moment to reflect upon the truth, necessity, and kindness of our impending words.

Conclusion: The Timeless Relevance of Mindful Communication

As we navigate through the complexities of our interpersonal and societal interactions, the three gates stand as timeless guardians, guiding us towards mindful and compassionate communication. They serve as a reminder that our words, once spoken, echo through the halls of our relationships and communities, carrying with them the power to build and to break, to heal and to harm.

Leave a Comment