samma vaca


the problems of blogging is adhering to sama vaca (right speech), the third of the eight paths in the eightfold path.

right speech incorporates not only speaking the truth but also speaking with mindfulness of causing harm and hurt.

Taken to its full extent, blogging and indeed speaking out about anything can in theory not be sama vaca.

However, to a large degree when my intent is correct, that is when my intent is not to cause harm or be offensive, i am not responsible for the hurt my words may cause others. In the end, I am not responsible for their feelings. Also, until i utter (or write) those words, I do not know for sure that feelings will be hurt or injured. This form of second guessing and the self-censorship that results is probably the worst aspect of the PC plague that swept over western society in the 90s. It appears to be finally abating but I doubt it is over.

This does not mean that I do not regret hurt feelings if my words happen to cause them. BUt the cause of hurt can be complex and in some cases, it may be that the hurt has less to do with my words than to do with factors internal to the listener. In this manner, retracting words due to hurt can consolidate an unhealthy worldview.

In these cases, I can only say that while I do not regret my words and will not take them back as my intent was inoffensive, I regret that the listener’s feelings were hurt. I urge the listener to consider that my intent was not offensive, to explain to me why they were hurt and to engage in a rational discussion so as to come to a common and hopefully amicable understanding of both our positions.

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