Right Speech and Criticism

Recently a friend asked me whether the Buddha had anything to say about criticism, speech pointing out the negative or the defective in things or persons. When I told him he was rather surprised, saying that he thought criticism would be a type of wrong speech, the opposite of Right Speech (Samma Vaca), the third step on the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path. The Buddha had more to say about how we speak than almost any other behaviour of ethical significance. He was fully aware of the impact verbal communication can have for both good and ill.


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