In England a student was taking an oral examination in a medical college. He had passed all the other subjects, the oral exam was the last. If he passes this he will receive England’s highest degree in medicine. Three doctors were examining him. They asked him, ”If you have such and such a patient with such and such a disease and you are to give these medicines, what amount will you give?” He quickly said the amount. All three doctors laughed. They said, ”Okay, you can go. The exam is over.
He was just going out the door when it came to him, ”That amount would take his life, it is poison
He returned and said, ”Pardon me, I would give him half of what I had said.
But the doctors said, ”The patient has died, who are you coming back to tell? What’s said is said. This is not merely an exam. If there were a patient and you gave him this dosage the patient would have died, who’s pardon are you asking? Come next year, prepare yourself better. You cannot just come back and correct your statement like this. If we change it, it would be false, the patient has already died.
Don’t speak thoughtlessly – giving it this meaning does not mean to speak thoughtfully. In my vision its meaning is no thought. Where there is thought there will be error. Where there is no thought, the mind is completely quiet, like a mirror, silent, empty, where meditation has awakened – there is never any mistake. There is no need to turn and look back. There is never any repentance.
SPEAKING attentively, what Buddha called right remembering. Speaking wake fully. Speaking ALERTLY. Not after thinking: is there an opportunity for thinking, is there time or not? Where is there time in life? Many times you want to say good things but can’t say them, later you remember.
The great Western THINKER Victor Hugo was coming out of a sitting room. Three or four other writers were coming with him, conversing. One WRITER expressed something. It was such a lovely statement that from Victor Hugo’s mouth came out, ”If only I had said that!”
A third writer said, ”Hugo, don’t worry. You will say it. Some day or other you will say it. If not today you’ll say it tomorrow. It will come out of your mouth, don’t worry. You will say it in other circumstances, but you will certainly say it. You cannot leave it alone.
But what is said is said. You may also have felt many times that you could have said that. It is as if someone has stolen the words which you were about to say, stolen the words that had come to your lips. And sometimes you feel that if only you had held back just one word, how much trouble you would have avoided. Because sometimes a small word can change a whole life. A small curse you have given may change your whole life, and a sweet statement falling from your lips may make your whole life new, nothing can be said about it… just a small statement.