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Testing For 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’d like you to pass a little test. It’s 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 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?”

Author Unknown
Submitted by Amoda

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • Tristan March 6, 2016, 11:42 pm

    I thought this was very useful. We were learning about mindfulness in our class and I would like to share this with them. Keep it up.


  • James versatile November 18, 2014, 7:01 am

    Nice one boss really really helpful especially now that people carry gossip like lipgloss thank you once more

  • Aslam July 5, 2014, 1:52 am

    Really no words

  • VV April 14, 2014, 6:32 am

    Good… liked it a lot

  • Nchimunya muleya March 28, 2014, 3:44 pm

    Love the jokes here because they were hilarious

    • Madhoor March 28, 2014, 11:59 pm

      Your stories are very well written and have an in depth message and practical. Thanx keep it up.

  • Kisa Gothami February 17, 2014, 2:46 pm

    Joe, You are half correct and half wrong. The man was going to tell Socrates about how Plato beat his (Plato’s) wife. That explains the answer to the third filter (because if what you say were true, what the man was going to tell Socrates was definitely useful to him).

    If he just listened, he would have saved the poor woman from daily beating.

  • Sharon Charlie February 7, 2014, 2:31 am

    Hahahaha that’s a good one.

  • Joe February 4, 2014, 8:48 pm

    It also explains why he never found out that Plato was having an affair with his wife.

  • Lawrence February 2, 2014, 8:54 pm

    Really! It is a wonderful short story. Thanks for publishing it.

  • Karthick R January 28, 2014, 6:05 am

    It is a very good lesson for those who making gossips..!!

  • Milan Chaudhary January 23, 2014, 1:11 am

    Very true! Lets keep it in practice.

  • Rita January 22, 2014, 11:42 pm

    I love to write letters of support to people that are in need, especially to young adults I do it with my chidden from time to time too. Gossip is bad support others is better. God gives us strength in return.

  • Himanish January 21, 2014, 5:38 am


  • Jabeena January 21, 2014, 4:57 am

    True and it’s fact, avoid GOSSIPS.

  • Leah January 20, 2014, 11:02 pm

    Hey Mr. Martin, thumbs up to you… this one’s I’ve been waiting for. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much..

  • Leah January 20, 2014, 10:57 pm

    Nice one!!! 🙂

  • Joseph Muya January 20, 2014, 5:52 am

    That’s good story and teach us that if you want to say something about the other person think first if is a good thing, true or is it useful…….
    What you don’t like people to do do you do not do it to others.

  • Atulya January 18, 2014, 9:17 am

    I have observed that besides reading people do the same applied in reality that benefits us n true very much I go with it.

  • Swarup January 18, 2014, 2:05 am

    I wish electronic media is subjected to triple filter test. Most of the content is speculation amounting to rumours. Really sad
    The story is revealing and a lesson. Thanks for publishing

  • Sarah January 18, 2014, 1:33 am

    Woww.. it’s a really nice story. Gossip destroys society.. it ain’t good for sure.. If you don’t have something good, useful to say, just put the “shut” to the “up”. Thx for the story.

  • Martin January 18, 2014, 1:18 am

    The one, who always believes others and lives, won’t ever win in life.

    Failure is the road to success. Without facing failure none can overcome success. The one who wants to win, the one who wants to succeed in life, should once in his or her lifetime face a failure. There is no one who has not failed.

    Everyone knows that if they want to succeed or win should work hard in life. But when there are adversities and they have to face problems they won’t be having the willingness and determination to face them or fight them out, then they stretch their arms out for help from other people, like this the one who always seeks the help of other people to overcome adversities and problems will never be able to live a successful life and be a winner.

    When we are born we come alone, even in death we are alone. When we are born God does not promise us anything, nor does he have assured each of us that after being born in our lives has he told that he will send someone to take care of us and our problems that we face in life. Inspite of knowing this, whenever we face problems, we scold God. We begin to assume that for all the problems that we face he himself is responsible i.e. God himself is responsible for the problems that we are facing. I am helpless, I don’t have anyone with me, it’s over, this is it, can’t take this anymore are the thoughts we get. But for the opportunities that we have missed, we never think that the best is yet to come. We think that this is final, this is it and it can’t go anywhere better than this and lose all heart and hope.

    We tend to think that we are the only one’s in the world who are facing problems, and that all the problems in the world exist only in our lives, but we tend to overlook many a people’s lives who lead a much bitter life than us.

    Look at the ants the one’s who never sleep, the most hardworking of us all, no matter how many times we cross their path; they get back on track within a few seconds. We are not as helpless as ant’s right? Inspite of being enormously intelligent and having more capacity than ants, we still sit like a rock when problems come in our lives.

    In the book called as life, we cannot assume just by reading the first two pages that entire book is filled with same story. But when we read that book assuming that there will be much more pleasant things to read in the further pages will make reading a pleasure. If we sit down thinking and get deterred with life’s silly little failures, we will never be able to win in life. But if we think and believe that the one who has failed can only win, we can come up in life, we can win in life and be successful in life. The lessons we learn after a failure and implement them tomorrow only will help us all become winners.

    The one who has failed can only win !!!

    Wishing you all a very Happy Weekend !!!

  • Gautam saha January 18, 2014, 1:02 am

    Very good lesson – we should be careful about gossip.

  • Jacob January 18, 2014, 12:44 am

    Very useful moral story, Thanks.

  • Gemma daplin January 17, 2014, 10:43 pm

    2 thumbs up!! Gossips can give us stress, it’s better to use this tool “TRIPLE FILTER TEST”:-) 🙂

  • Vicdas January 17, 2014, 8:38 pm

    Very true gossips is not good.

  • Mikayla chatoor January 17, 2014, 6:22 pm

    Awesome. I love this story. This is a great moral for all the children in the world even adults. Thumbs up!!

  • Camilia January 17, 2014, 1:03 pm

    Wonderful moral … Thanks

  • Marcie January 17, 2014, 12:41 pm

    I have taught my girls that if they have nothing nice to say about anyone then say nothing at all. In that case, silence is golden!

  • Mdu January 17, 2014, 12:37 pm

    If all of us could use a triple filter test, our lifes would be fruitful.

  • Dr. Derrick Angelsz January 17, 2014, 12:36 pm

    Dear Amoda,
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful test for gossip. Quiet recently I adopted the method a few times and Yes it gave me peace not to hear unwanted unreliable conversations. It kept me away from stress too. One must put the stories shared to use in our daily life. It works wonders.
    Dr. Derrick

  • Madhoor January 17, 2014, 11:46 am

    Gossip not good for health. Gossip bane of the working class.

  • Mosopefoluwaah January 17, 2014, 11:46 am

    Great. Ignore gossips

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