The Buddha considered the practice of Skillful Speech so essential to one's personal and spiritual development that he gave it its own step on the path to happiness. Skillful Speech, the Buddha told us, has four qualities: It is always truthful. It is uplifting, not malicious or unkind. It is gentle, not crude or harsh. It is moderate, not useless or meaningless. Bhante Gunaratana "Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness," p. 91 www.wisdompubs.org/author/bhante-gunaratana. Buddhism.