Once an old man spread rumours that his neighbour was a thief. As a result, the young man was arrested. Days later the young man was proven innocent. After being released he sued the old man for wrongly accusing him.
In the court the old man told the Judge: “They were just comments, didn’t harm anyone.”
The judge told the old man: “Write all the things you said about him on a piece of paper. Cut them up into small pieces and on the way home, throw the pieces of paper out. Tomorrow, come back to hear the sentence.”
Next day, the judge told the old man: “Before receiving the sentence, you will have to go out and gather all the pieces of paper that you threw out yesterday.”
The old man said: “I can’t do that! The wind spread them and I won’t know where to find them.”
The judge then replied: “In the same way, simple comments may destroy the honour of a person to such an extent that one will never be able to regain the lost honour, respect and goodwill. If you can’t speak well of someone, rather don’t say anything.”
The ability to speak and communicate is a powerful tool vested in us by nature. It should not be used to dishonor or for character assassination. It should also not be misused to discourage or dishearten, or impart negativity, nor should it be used to brainwash and goad many into wrong actions that can be harmful to humanity and nature. Some people with oratory skills have misused it in the past, which had proved disastrous for humanity and nature.
In the digital era, with tools such as email, youtube, sms, facebook, whatsapp and twitter at our disposal, rumours and misinformation with malicious intent can be spread very quickly with disastrous results.
The ability to communicate effectively and great oratory skills should be used to encourage, motivate and inspire many for good and noble actions, which can benefit the humanity and the world. It should be used to impart positivity and knowledge which can benefit everyone.
Nature has given us two ears and one mouth. We should use it in that proportion; we should listen twice as much as we speak.