Testing gossip.

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 telling me anything I did like you to pass a little test. Its called the Triple Filter Test.

Triple filter?

That’s right, Socrates continued. Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a 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?

No, the man said, Actually I just heard about it and …

All right, said Socrates. So you don’t really know if its true or not. Now lets try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?

No, on the contrary

So, Socrates continued, you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not certain its 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?

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talknaijajor

Umogbai Kenneth studied Urban & Regional Planning. Fell in Love with blogging while still in school and has been a blogger for many years now. He intends to touch and change lives through this.

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