“When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.”

“When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.”

I came across this on Twitter today, tweeted by Buddha_Bones:

“RT @Sharon_Phoenix “When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.” ~Buddha”

This can be found in various books attributed to Jack Kornfield, the Buddha, and Shunryu Suzuki. As far as I can tell, those words first crop up in Saddhatissa’s “Before He Was Buddha: The Life of Siddhartha” (page 92). The quote appears, in quotation marks, in a sidebar accompanying a story about death and impermanence. The words aren’t directly attributed to the Buddha, but the reader is led to the assumption that they’re a direct quote. As far as I can see, despite the appearance of the sidebar being a “pull quote,” the quote doesn’t appear elsewhere in the book. The same quote appears, in an extended form, in Jack Kornfield’s Buddha’s Little Instruction Book, page 5. I rather suspect he’s the originator of this quote.

Like many Fake Buddha Quotes, this one has a nice sentiment. The Buddha often talked about the virtue of words being true and kind, but the language of “changing the world” is not something the Buddha is recorded as using.

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