1. Frankness may be among the most overrated of virtues! And here’s why. Because unrestricted and unfiltered frankness is a recipe for breaking relationships, even the closest ones. Such frankness is understandable, acceptable and even ‘cute’ only in children under the age of five.
2. Thinking before one speaks and using restraint are hallmarks of growing maturity and preparation for life. Learning to put a filter between thought and spoken word (and, even more importantly, written word) is an important life skill. Think is a popular acronym for Trúe, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary and Kind. This would do wonderfully well as a filter in our minds.
3. It is good to speak what’s true, but only along with the other attributes in the acronym, particularly the last one, kindness. In the righteous glow of speaking what we see as the truth, we often forget to be kind. We blurt out ‘truths’ even when it is totally unhelpful and unnecessary to do so, let alone inspiring! Too often, such truth–telling is destructive rather than noble. Only those who do not care about the consequences can afford the luxury of ‘speaking their minds’ whenever and wherever they please. When relationships are at stake, it is essential to choose the time, place and words appropriately when imparting unpleasant truths. And even then, only when absolutely necessary and with the utmost kindness.
4. Speaking without forethought can be even more dangerous in other circumstances, for example, when someone has entrusted us with a secret. A sign of maturity is the ability to keep a secret. Very young children are incapable of understanding the concept of a secret. To them, every piece of information is interesting, new and meant to be shared. As we grow older, we all learn how to keep a secret, but too often we keep only our own secrets and not those that others confide in us. We may blurt out something a friend told us in confidence, perhaps carelessly but often to appear important in other people’s estimation. It gives us a sense of power to know something that our friends don’t, and it requires conscious effort to keep the information to ourselves.
5. But this is the real test of an important life skill: self–restraint. Revealing a friend’s secret is to betrayal of the friendship. Indeed, the consequences may well spread way beyond the friendship alone. It may lead to gossip spreading like a forest fire, destroying peace of mind and even lives.
6. Words have power to hurt or heal. They are not mere tools for tweeting and messaging. Before the tongue speaks, before the fingers fly over the keyboard, it is important to pause and apply the THINK acronym filter. Is this True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary and Kind?
7. Of course it is important to communicate. But it is far more important to be considerate and compassionate. Speaking well is a skill: speaking kindly is a life skill.
4.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) How much of frankness is acceptable?
One should be frank to the extent that it does not affect relationships. Complete frankness looks good only in small children. As we grow old we should be smart and filter information.
(b) What does the term ‘put a filter’ mean in this context?
In this context ‘to put a filter’ means before speaking, a sensible person will filter whatever he wishes to say. He will think through his thoughts before uttering a word.
(c) According to the writer what is the best way to reveal the truth”?
The writer says that one must ensure that the place, time and the words are chosen with care. In addition to this, one must use very kind words to convey the truth.
(d) Why is it important to keep secrets?
It is very important to keep secrets. We mayblurtout something a friend toldus in confidence, in a careless manner but often to appear important in other people’s estimation. So, it requires conscious effort to keep the information to ourselves.
4.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) The term “acronym’ used in para 2 denotes a/an ________.
(i) bitter truth
(ii) abbreviation of the title/phrase
Correct Option is (ii) acrobat
(b) The antonym of ‘cruelty’, used in para 3 is
(ii) utter suddenly
(iii) speak softly
(iv) wipe out
Correct Option is (i) kindness
(c) The writer says that it is not necessary to use very kind words to convey the truth. (True/False)
(d) Words are not mere tools for tweeting and messaging, but they also have power to
hurt or heal
|1. What is the importance of reading comprehension skills?|
|2. How can reading comprehension skills be improved?|
|3. What are some common reading comprehension strategies?|
|4. How can one overcome difficulties in understanding complex texts?|
|5. What are the benefits of improving reading comprehension skills?|