A man runs up to Socrates with information he thought the philosopher would like to hear:
– Let me tell you something about one of your friends!
– Wait a minute – said Socrates – Before you tell me, have you sifted this information through the three sieves?
– The three sieves? What do you mean?
– Let’s sift through what you want to tell me. We should always use the three sieves. If you do not know them, then pay close attention. The first is the sieve of TRUTH. Are you sure that what you want to tell me is true?
– Well, it’s what I overheard. I’m not exactly sure if it’s true.
– The second is the sieve of GOODNESS. Surely, you must have sifted this information through the sieve of goodness. Right?
Embarrassed, the man replied:
– I must confess that I did not.
– The third is the sieve of USEFULNESS. Did you really consider whether or not this information about my friend is useful?
– Useful? Actually, no, I did not.
So the wise man said – If what you want to tell me is not true, good or useful, then it’s better that you keep it to yourself.
Moral of the story: Next time a rumor develops, sift it through the three sieves: Truth, Goodness and Usefulness, before submitting to your urges and passing it on.
“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” Proverbs 21.23 NKJV