Library - Wise Speech & Expression

wise-speech-program

The power of words to shape thought, to motivate action, and ultimately to either heal or harm was of profound importance to the Buddha. He taught that healing, harmonious speech should be Beneficially Intended, Useful, Truthful, Timely, and Kind.  In selecting entries for our Library and list of Groups, we are mindful of these criteria, and include listings that meet at least some if not all of them.  Like other forms of public speech, environmental discourse can be constructive or polarizing, inclusive or dismissive, enlightening or distorting.  In our continuing development of this program area, we seek out examples of discourse that in both its substance and style reflect some of the Buddha’s teachings on wise speech.

 

THE WRITTEN WORD.

BOOKS

Haidt, Jonathan. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politcs and Religion. Pantheon Books, 2012. Haidt shows why liberals, conservatives and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong. He offers a path out of divisions and conflicts and into human cooperation.

Macy, Joanna and Chris Johnstone. Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy. New World Library 2012. Looks at climate change impacts for humanity in the ecological, social, psychological and economic realms and provides tools to keep hope alive individually and collectively, to respect/repair/revere all of life, to overcome helplessness and align with actions that can move from chaos to healing and connection.

ARTICLES AND ESSAYS

Zumski Finke, Christopher. Staying Human in a Time of Climate Change.Yes! Magazine interviews geographer and author M Jackson, who says knowing climate science isn’t enough. We need to get our hearts involved too. Her new book, While Glaciers Slept, intertwines her very personal story of the loss of her parents with grieving for the loss of life being occasioned by climate change. But, as a scientist, here message is ultimately a hopeful one, underscoring that actions taken out of love for all life will ultimately be more rewarding, effective, and durable than ones taken solely out of rage and despair.

THE SPOKEN WORD AND VISUAL MEDIA

TALKS

FILMS AND VIDEOS

How to Talk to a Climate Change Denier (video). This primer on starting discussions about climate change is offered by communications expert, George Marshall. Although Marshall offers a purely secular approach, his technique embodies the use of Wise Speech. The TalkingClimate.org blog post states that Marshall’s video includes “the best way of talking to a climate ‘denier’ [and] advice on language, framing, and a discussion of whether ‘denier’ is even the right way of thinking about the problem.”

OTHER VISUAL MEDIA

 

EDUCATIONAL WEBSITES