“Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate, ask yourself "Is it true?". At the second gate ask "Is it necessary?". At the third gate ask "Is it Kind?"”
Normally I would attribute a quote to it’s original source, but in this case, I haven’t been able to find the original source. There are claims that versions of it are attributed to Rumi, to Socrates, and to others. But if we starting with asking “ is it true?“ then it seems a bit daft to start this piece with a false attribution!
it’s a phrase I’ve heard before. It caught me last time, and it caught me again this time. It came up in one of my morning meditations on the Calm app. If you haven’t tried the Calm app, then I highly recommend it. Headspace also comes highly recommended, and is apparently available on Netflix as well, but I haven’t used it myself. I am grateful for the recent nudge from my friend Vicky of @goldenpheasantcounselling to get back into a regular meditation practice. With the ups and downs that have been going on recently, I had slipped out of the routine of daily meditation.
This time the phrase immediately made me think off homeschooling, which is one of my current challenges. I am asking the kids to do work that they are sometimes less than enthusiastic about, and I do my best to use words of encouragement. Often though, frustration gets in the way.
I have made myself a print with these three questions on it. I will hang in my kitchen, where much of the homeschooling is taking place. It will remind me to speak calmly and quietly, hearing what the children are saying to me, and responding appropriately to their needs.
Do you have a habit of using words that aren’t true? Or that aren’t necessary? Or that aren’t kind? How could you make steps towards changing that?
© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio 2021
Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion