Author and Rabbi Joseph Telushkin often asks audiences if they can go 24 hours without saying unkind words about, or to, another person. Invariably, a few raise their hands, signifying "yes." Others laugh. A large number call out, "no!"
Telushkin responds: "Those who can't answer 'yes' must recognize you have a serious problem. If you cannot go 24 hours without drinking liquor, you are addicted to alcohol. If you cannot go 24 hours without smoking, you are addicted to nicotine. If you cannot go 24 hours without saying unkind words about others, then you have lost control over your tongue."