Saturday, 11 September 2010
Just Before You Tell Me.
I do tell lots of little stories, because I love to hear them. I hope though that my little stories are seen for what they are. They are stories to inspire us to think a bit more . To maybe even make us turn to action.
Yesterday I was walking home deep in thought, putting one foot in front of the other. The next thing I knew a “friend “ was walking next to me and speaking to me. I laughed and apologised I had not heard him coming up at the back of me. We walked together and passed the time of day. At first we were only talking about gardens and vegetables, things we have in common. Then he said to me, “Have you heard about,” and he mentioned a name. I knew immediately he was about to tell me a little story. It was a little story about a friend of mine and yes I had heard it before. What is more I knew the little story was not true, and that it was wrong to repeat it and just as bad of me to consider listening to it again. So instead I told him of Socrates. Yes I do that, not just on blogs do I tell my little stories.
I am sure some of you have heard of Socrates, and some of you may even have heard this little tale.
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. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”
“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 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?”
“No, on the contrary…”
“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, 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?”
Strangely enough after I told him that little story he went back to talking about his garden. We enjoyed the rest of the walk up the road.
So I give you the triple filter test. It may or it may not be useful.
Now having said that I have never heard anything bad said on blogging about others. In fact it is a world full of good words. I just wish today though I could get past the words and find a way to help a fellow blogger in need. Then blogging would have taken me beyond words.
This blog is linked to my other.Words