After being influenced by a friend reading “Sophies World”, I came to know Socrates and his persona by reading tons of pages about him. This time, I opt to share this content emailed by a friend on the possible ways of handling reports/news we receive about others. Take time to digest the wisdom of this short post:
In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”
“Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”
“Well, no,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it and…”
“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now, let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”
“Umm, no, on the contrary…”
“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about my friend, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left—the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”
“No, not really.”
“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true, nor good, nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”
The author of this post is unknown, but I assume one of his student – Aristotle, may had recorded this as told by the great mentor. Never mind who may have written this. Are we the acquaintance or the logical-Socrates?
Respect begets respect, and if what we are saying is not good, useful or true, why should we take some efforts of spreading it. Stop exploiting others.
Be bearer of good news… ALWAYS!