Monday, February 07, 2011

Word Filter

Found this on line. Seems to be as appropriate today as it was in Socrates' time:

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?"




Mellodee said...

Hmmmm, if everyone used these filters, the world would be a lot quieter place!! (n fact, some people wouldn't talk at all. You may have stumbled upon the clue to world peace!! :)

Curley said...

Kind of reminds me of what my mom used to tell us when we were kids. "If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all".