Truth and kindliness (was Re: DWJ in Israeli newspaper)

minnow at minnow at
Tue Feb 17 14:39:16 EST 2004

Elise produced a fine thing:

>This topic puts me in mind of the concept of 'right speech' in Buddhism.
>Here's a primer:
>Sounds like #3 under "The criteria for deciding what is worth saying"
>"[3] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true,
>beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the
>proper time for saying them."
>Handy, no? Don't ask me what a tathagata is.

On *this* list, somebody who knows will be along in a minute, I expect.  :-)

Somewhere in the back of my mind I have a nagging tagging bit of one of
those sorts of moral poems the Victorians went in for to aim at children,
the ones DWJ says fall straight out of one's brain with a faint cry of
"don't be *Goddy*", some thing about thinking before you say anything and
asking yourself "these questions three: first, Is it kind? then, Is it
true? then, Is it necessary?" which is very likely whence I came up with
"unnecessary truth".  I deny that I apply a goddy rhyme to my habits in
speech, but I have a horrid feeling that at some formative moment it may
have sunk in instead of bouncing off.

Does anyone happen to know the perpetrator of the rhyme "three/necessary"?
Or can anyone tell me, please please, that it isn't *meant* to be a rhyme?


To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list