For our second week of classes this summer session here at The Yoga Room the virtue card I drew from the deck was Tact. Here’s what some of it said: “Tact is telling the truth kindly. We think before we speak, aware of how deeply our words affect others. When our words are weighty, we weigh our words, knowing they have the power to cause pain or to uplift. Tact is essential when we feel strong emotions like anger. It helps us discern what to say and what is better left unsaid. Tact is good timing. It is the diplomacy of the heart.”
Tact goes along well with two other things we try to cultivate on our yoga mat: mindfulness and equanimity. By cultivating mindfulness, and paying attention to what we’re doing, we are more able to be aware of how our words affect others. By cultivating equanimity, we can better keep our mind calm, and not instantly over-react and say something we shouldn’t have.
At the end of all my classes, I shared with my students something I have pinned up on the wall above my desk. I don’t even remember where I got it from, but it is a good reminder for me, and I hope it is for you as well:
Is what I’m about to say true?
Is it kind?
Is it necessary?
Does it improve upon the silence?
And, of course, who remembers the words of advice from Bambi? “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing! Take a bit of good advice, say nothing!” :)