In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.

One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance that ran up to him excitedly and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students called Plato?"


     "Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before you tell
     me 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 student
     let's take a moment to 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 student something good?"
     "No, on the contrary..."
     "So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me
     something bad about him,
     even though you're not certain it's true?"
     The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.
     Socrates continued. "You may still pass the test
     though, because there is a
     third filter - the Filter of usefulness. Is what you
     want to tell me about my student 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?" The man was defeated and ashamed.

     This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher
     and held in such high esteem.

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