My current guru is an Indian scholar named Eknath Easwaran (1910-1990). Even though he has been dead for 26 years, he is now my closest friend and strongest ally. I turn to him in dark moments and always find solace in his wisdom. Most recently I read his prescription for interpersonal communication and realized that almost no conversation occurring among the blabbering politicians vying for the Oval Office passes his test of worthy discourse. Put another way, Eknath would surely say that all of the candidates are pretty much full of shit. Sadly, the same might be said of much of the clucking that goes on all day and night between everyone on the planet.
To avoid meaningless chatter, Easwaran suggests that we ask these three questions about the words we are about to speak to another:
1. Are they true?
2. Are they kind?
3. Are they necessary?
By that measure, it's obvious that talking is way overdone in our culture. From now on I shall rely on grunting and nodding whenever possible.