Just a nice post on why one should not indulge in Gossip. May come as a bit preechy but if you have not heard about Socrates Triple Filter Test, might want to give a read and give it a thought. I did :-).
Harvey Mackay's Column This Week Spread the word: don't gossip
One day in ancient Greece an acquaintance met the great philosopher Socrates 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."
"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?"
There would be no or little gossip if everyone followed Socrates' Triple Filter Test. But that is not the case. Gossip runs rampant.
It's no wonder legendary American humorist Erma Bombeck said: "Some say our national pastime is baseball. Not me. It's gossip."
Someone has calculated that, if a rumor was started at midday, and was repeated within two seconds by everyone who heard it to two other people, who repeated it and kept the cycle going, by about 6:30 p.m. the same day everyone on earth would have heard it.
Of course, the Internet has brought gossiping up to warp speed. A rumor posted online can make it around the world in milliseconds. And although the post may seem anonymous and, therefore, "safe," the damage is potentially irreparable. Snopes, the urban legends reference site, can't debunk everything, after all.
Office gossip in particular is a major concern for a number of reasons. The Triple Filter Test could prevent plenty of misunderstandings and hard feelings in the workplace, where teamwork and cooperation are often central to productivity. How does someone work with another who insists on passing along information that may not be true, good or useful?
Spreading rumors about co-workers can create a hostile environment that customers will pick up on. This is a good reason for avoiding gossip. Plus the fact that I've seen many deals go down, due to gossip.
As advice columnist Dear Abby said, "It is almost impossible to throw dirt on someone without getting a little on yourself."
So clean up your act! The Triple Filter Test is simple to use. Truth alone is not enough reason to spread gossip. Who doesn't have an embarrassing truth that they want to remain private? And while good news may seem harmless enough, is it your news to share? But perhaps the most compelling reason to avoid gossip is the usefulness test. How will the information be used? I'm betting it won't be for positive reasons.
Maybe you've heard about the three ministers who went fishing. They were good friends, each of whom was a pastor at different churches in the same town. While they were fishing they began confessing their sins to each other.
The first pastor said, "Do you know what my big sin is? My big sin is drinking. I know it's wrong, but every Friday night I drive to a city where no one will recognize me, and I go to a saloon and get drunk. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help it. It's my big sin."
The second pastor said, "Well, to be honest with you, I've got a big sin too. My big sin is gambling. As a matter of fact, you know all the money I raised for that mission trip to India? I took it to Las Vegas instead and lost it all. I'm so ashamed. My big sin is gambling."
Finally it was the third pastor's turn. He said, "Guys, I probably should have gone first, because my big sin is gossiping."
Mackay's Moral: A word can be more powerful than a sword.
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