The Trying Times

Probably the best commentary in the world


Stop Talking

reporter: Jonathan, 19.7.06

Our problem in New Zealand is that we're all talk. Whenever something happens there's outrage. People ring the talkback "This shouldn't be happening in our country". People talk to their friends "This is Horrific". Then a week later we've forgotten who Chris and Cru were. - That's on a National Scale.

When you look on a more personal level we have a similar problem. Rather than solving problems we would rather talk and joke about them. It's called gossip! When we have a problem with someone what we do is we talk to everyone BUT the person we actually have the problem with.

Here's little story you may have heard!

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said,

"Socrates, 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. 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?"

So think about what you're saying. Is it Truthful? is it Encouraging? is it Important to the person to whom you are speaking? I think the triple filter will eliminate a lot of crap that we don't need to say, thus giving us more time to actually act positively to solve problems!