Is it true, is it good, is it usefull?
We Could All Learn From A Famous Greek Philosopher Socrates (469 – 399 BC)
One fine day an associate ran up to him eagerly & said, “Socrates, do you happen to know what I just heard about your student?”
Socrates calmly replied, “Before you tell me, I would like you to pass a small test. It is the Threefold Filter Test.”
Socrates continued. “Before you speak to me about my student, let us take a minute to filter what you are going to say. The first filter is Veracity. Are you absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”
The man hesitantly said, “No, actually I just heard about it and…”
“Okay,” said Socrates “So you do not really know for sure if it’s true or not. Now let us try the second filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something positive or good?”
“No, on the contrary…”
“So,” Socrates continues, “you wanted to tell me something bad about him, even though you are not sure if it is true?” The man is embarrassed. Socrates continues, “You might still pass the last test – the third filter of Usefulness. Is what you wanted to tell me about my student going to be useful to me on any front?”
The man replies, “No, not really”
“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you wanted to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why bother to tell it to me at all?”
The man was beaten and ashamed. This is the reason why Socrates was hailed as a great philosopher and held in high veneration.
This is how you should deal with negative gossip.