Once, a jealous man spread rumors that his neighbor was a thief. As a result, the young man was arrested. Days later, the neighbor was proven innocent.
After being released he sued the old man for his false accusations. In the court the man told the Judge: “They were just words of gossip, and I didn’t harm anyone.” The judge told the man: “Write all the things you said about him on a piece of paper. Cut them up and on the way home, throw the pieces of paper out. Tomorrow, come back to hear the sentence.”
Next day, the judge told the man: “Before receiving the sentence, you will have to go out and gather all the pieces of paper that you threw out yesterday.” The old man said: “I can’t do that! The wind spread them and I won’t know where to find them.”
The judge then replied: “The same way, simple words may destroy the honor and dignity of a man to such an extent that one is not able to fix it. If you can’t speak well of someone, it’s best if don’t say anything at all.”