Grapevine - Filter it before you have it!

August 10, 2010

image :
I have observed that news mongering, spreading rumours, talking about people behind their back, gossiping about everyone around is a favourite time pass for many people.  Sometimes, unknowingly we get into this web.  This is an unproductive activity, which we should avoid at all costs.  Rather, we should develop straight forwardness in our character, and try to say things as we feel about it or think about it.  That does not mean one should be rude, or blunt, but still you can try to convey your honest thoughts. 

I heard this saying a few years back, and after that tried not to be a small minded person by avoiding talking about people generally, especially in one's absence. I cannot say one can really follow it all the time, but one can try. Here goes the saying:

Great Minds Discuss Ideas;
Average Minds Discuss Events;
Small Mind Discuss People

I want to share this short story published in, The Times of India, with my readers to reflect upon it. People enjoy talking about others, like to churn more and more stories without knowing the facts about a person. 
Think before you believe in something


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'd 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..."
"Alright," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if its true or not.

Now let's try the second filter, the filter of goodness.
Is what you are going 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 if 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?"

(This little article was published in The Speaking Tree, a spiritual magazine of Times of India, on 08 Aug 2010. I really wanted it on my blog. I could not find it on e-paper, but I am reproducing it.)

A Restless Mind With
A Sensitive Heart

PS: added an image and changed the title later.


Niket said...

This story is GOOD as well as USEFUL and thanks for sharing it Restless! :)
Here I would like to add that after undertaking the Triple Filter Test if you find out it's a hearsay, don't forget to give an earful to the maligner. This would definitely discourage him to atleast not bother you the next time with his artifacts! I do the same and believe me, it works! :)

aayanman said...

First time here, reading some of your older works, looks like I have to come back for more.

Reema said...

Great story! u have got a good blog going on!
there is a typo in the line "Is what you are going to tell me about my frined, something good?"

Also nothing happens when we click "About" on the theme??

Reema said...

and oh I use this to comment on Blogger blogs. but my blog is on WP.
Also why don't u start blog on wordpress? many bloggers eventually shift to its better to start blog there.

শর্বরী - Sarbari said...

nice thoughts. well expressed.

on a different take, did you know that sometimes in organisations or in families which has dysfunctional culture, it is gossip that can at times provide you with the real picture of what's happening underneath?

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ Niket - Hey wow! wow! what a feedback!! Yes i left this out by chance! I absolutely agree with you, must give back to such ppl who mindlessly speak about others. thanks Niket! MADE MY DAY!

@ Gyanban - am so glad, will look forward to ur frank comments and feedback, really!

@ Reema - hey dear, thank for telling about typo, will correct. about "about", hmm gotta change the template soon!

ah I see, hmm wordpress looks complicated to me, oops! I like the follow gadget of blogger, as its like a link to the blog. But anyways, i think sooner or later, i will shift to wordpress. thanks!

@ Hey Sharbori! hmm at times u know what's happening around, what's cooking through gossipers, but i am sure everything is with a pinch of salt.

But I am so glad to have u here, as I know there is a lot to learn from my psychologis blogger pal! stay in touch dear!


varsha said...

yet there is nothing like a good bout of gossip with a trusty friend-esp on a rainy day with a mug of tea in hand.
But yes mindless reckless gossip is a disease.

Dr. Pratibha Singh said...

I like tripple filter test.It will work for sure.

Purba said...

Loved reading about the triple filter test. Made a lot of sense.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ varsha - true!

@ Pratibha - we can only make it work!

@ Purba - thanks dear!

anatreek said...

Interesting and very true, but its not an easy task!

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ Ana_treek - but it works and as a reader said above, it really shuts up the guy!! btw welcome to My world My Perception.


REALIST said...

hi thr sensitive heart,
nice write up, i really liked the foll:
Great Minds Discuss Ideas;
Average Minds Discuss Events;
Small Mind Discuss People
but i feel.. small minds discuss only about people......
and great minds discuss all the three.. people, events and ideas... all 3 are equally important and i think we can strike a balance..... of course the discussions shud be for a positive outcome :)

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