Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Fined for Unrefined Speech

I need to be more careful with the words that come out of my mouth. Whatever my rationalization or excuse, the fact is that I haven't been careful about speaking lashon hara against certain people recently.

As of today, I take it upon myself to refrain speaking lashon hara against these people. If I am unsuccessful, I will fine myself $18 on each occasion and give the money to tzedakah.

I have used the method of fining myself in the past when ridding my speech of profanity. I have found that this is an effective way to change.

---
Learn to be silent - so that you may learn to speak.

(Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vorki)

8 Comments:

At December 7, 2004 at 12:01:00 PM EST, Blogger Anshel's Wife said...

Lashon hara is a tough one. I wish you lots of strength.

I have found that if I don't talk very much, I appear to be very intelligent. The less I talk, the smarter I am. And this is actually true because of what you said. I hear more when I'm not worrying about what I want to say.

 
At December 7, 2004 at 3:29:00 PM EST, Blogger Alice said...

What's lashon hara? Gossip?

 
At December 7, 2004 at 3:38:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Yes, lashon hara is gossip.

 
At December 7, 2004 at 5:16:00 PM EST, Blogger HasidicG said...

Wow I have to say I admire you so much! What a great post. Although I'm just as guilty as many people I Have realized in my life how damaging lashon hara is, and although I have been able to check myself quite well for speaking it myself I still have the problem of being the "victim" of hearing it and not preventing myself from doing so. Living in a secular world where people look at you like your crazy when you tell them the harm gossip is can sometimes wear me down. SIlence is golden. :-)

 
At December 7, 2004 at 5:16:00 PM EST, Blogger HasidicG said...

Wow I have to say I admire you so much! What a great post. Although I'm just as guilty as many people I Have realized in my life how damaging lashon hara is, and although I have been able to check myself quite well for speaking it myself I still have the problem of being the "victim" of hearing it and not preventing myself from doing so. Living in a secular world where people look at you like your crazy when you tell them the harm gossip is can sometimes wear me down. SIlence is golden. :-)

 
At December 8, 2004 at 12:48:00 AM EST, Blogger Stx said...

Wow, yes, I'm in awe. This is a tried-and-true mussar technique, and to put it into practice takes a lot more than good intentions...

At the same time, SimpleJew, I'm wondering how wise it is to take on such a big kabbalah all at once. If there are "certain people" who tend to loosten your tongue, why not start with focusing on one of them. Then you can really focus on them, on saying and even THINKING good things about them, really trying to give to them. If you're nervous that by doing that you'll never get to the next step, that of taking successive kabbalos on yourself regarding each of the other people, then make a schedule for yourself. Maybe once a month, take on one more?

Just a suggestion. I've learned the bitter lesson of biting off more than I could chew, and am constantly scared of letting others make the same mistake. In the end though, you know yourself, and you know how much you can handle, so if you can handle this, go right ahead. I wish you much hatzlacha :)

 
At December 8, 2004 at 9:43:00 AM EST, Blogger Alice said...

I really struggle with this one. I enjoy it to some degree and know it's terrible to do, so now I just feel guilty but do it any way. I've made a dent here and there, but if I'm hanging around people who love to, I'm weak. A weakling! The fine idea is a good one. So is the choosing one person idea. I've noticed that if you say something good about the person being spoken about over and over it makes it less fun for the other people, but then I become afraid I'm alienating the person. See what a chicken I am? I need to just suck it up.

 
At December 8, 2004 at 3:32:00 PM EST, Blogger HasidicG said...

Reply to Stx: I know Reb Lazer Brody has posted many times about taking it slowly and the worst thing you can do is take on to much at once and burn out. Take it slowly but surely

 

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