"If you have nothing good to say...I remember we used to talk about this saying in my house growing up too.
It is a famous teaching from the holy Chofetz Chaim.
I remember as a bar-mitzvah boy, someone in our community in Riverdale, NY gave me a set of the Chofetz Chaim's books.
And I enjoyed reading from them daily about always being careful with how you use your words:
- Not to hurt anyone.
- Not to speak bad about anyone (i.e. Lashon Hara)
- But rather to use words pointedly and always for the good.
Words of love and caring.
The Chofetz Chaim seemed to have an endless number of wonderful stories to demonstrate the power of speech and the importance of using it for the good.
The old saying of "The pen is mightier than the sword," can be used replacing the pen with the tongue and power of speech in general.
Words can cut someone like a knife and even kill or words can create a tremendous healing when it's full of love and caring for others.
Actions speak louder than words, but words can speak and perform volumes in the eternal fight of good over evil. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)