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Words of Wisdom

The Spoken Word: Selections from “The Pathway of Life” by Leo Tolstoy (vegetarian): Volume 2, Part 2 of 2

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“‘Judge not, that ye be not judged.’ ‘For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.’ ‘And why behold thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in thine own eye?’”

“Almost invariably, if we search within, we find the same sin that we condemn in others. And if we do not know in ourselves the very sin which we condemn in others, with a little search we shall find a worse sin. The moment you begin to judge a man, bear in mind not to say anything evil even if you know this evil thing for a certainty, but particularly if you are not certain of it and merely repeat the words of another. Judging others is always inaccurate because no one knows what has occurred and is occurring in the soul of him who is being judged.”

“To condemn people to their face is evil because it offends them, and to condemn them behind their back is dishonest because it deceives them. The best thing is not to seek anything evil in people and to forget it, but to seek the evil in our own self and to remember it.”

“The less people know of the evil acts of others, the stricter they are with themselves. Never listen to a man who speaks evil of others and well of yourself. He who traduces me behind my back fears me, he who praises me to my own face despises me.”

“We know that a loaded gun must be handled carefully, but we refuse to realize that a word must be handled with as much care. A word may not only kill but also cause evil that is worse than death.”

“To speak evil of others harms three people in one: him of whom evil is spoken; him to whom evil is spoken; but most of all him who speaks evil of others. Judging people behind their back is harmful especially for the reason that the criticism of the defects of a man, which related to him face to face might be useful to him, is hidden from him to whom it might do good and is communicated to those to whom it can only do harm by arousing a feeling of ill will towards him who is judged.”
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