March 06, 2009

Speaking with Understanding and Compassion .

The opposite of speaking of the faults of others is speaking with understanding and compassion. For those engaged in Military work and for those who want to live harmoniously with others, this is essential. When we look at other's good qualities, we feel happy that they exist. Acknowledging people's good qualities to them and to others makes our own mind happy; it promotes harmony in the environment; and it gives people useful feedback.

Praising others should be part of our daily life . Imagine what our life would be like if we trained our minds to dwell on others' talents and good attributes. We would feel much happier and so would they! We would get along better with others, and our families, work environments, and living situations would be much more harmonious. We place the seeds from such positive actions on our mindstream, creating the cause for harmonious relationships and success in our military aims.

An interesting experiment is to try to say something nice to or about someone every day for a month. Try it. It makes us much more aware of what we say and why. It encourages us to change our perspective so that we notice others' good qualities. Doing so also improves our relationships tremendously.

A few months ago, I gave this as a homework assignment , encouraging people to try to praise even someone they didn't like very much. The next week I asked the students how they did. One student said that the first day he had to make something up in order to speak positively to a fellow classmates. But after that, the student was so much nicer to him that it was easy to see his good qualities and speak about them!

Your boss or employee may make foolish decisions. He or she may be lazy and forgetful. Yet chances are good he or she wants to be a good person and do the right thing. You can respect the desire of someone's heart even if you are disappointed by his or her actions.

God wants us to speak with love and courtesy, whatever the circumstances. Our words should be things of beauty, "like apples of gold in settings of silver" (Proverbs 25:11). Even if you need to take strong actions, control your anger (Proverbs 29:11).