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Inspiring story to avoid Backbiting


I am writing this hub to share a heart-touching and strong conversation with you. I just read this few days ago on the web. Some of you might have also heard it or read it before. However, I was so touched with the story that I decided to share it with more people. It covers a most common trait of humans that is backbiting. Although, women are always considered to have this trait, but even men too get involved in this activity. The only difference is the topic.

The conversation was between the great philosopher, Socrates and his acquaintance. Socrates is reputed for his great knowledge.

One day a person met Socrates and told him that he has something to tell about Socrates friend, which he has heard from someone else. 'Hold on a minute' was what the great philosopher replied to the man and then he asked that man to pass a test.

The test was called as the Triple filter test and consists three questions. The man agreed for the test and Socrates said; 'Before you tell me something about my friend, I want to filter what you are going to say.'

The first filter of the test is TRUTH. Socrates asked the man; Are you sure that what you will be telling me is absolutely true? The man replied; No, I just heard it from another person and don't know about reality. ‘All right’ said Socrates. So you don’t know whether what you have heard is true or not.

Now, let’s move on to the second filter, the filter of GOODNESS. The philosopher asked; are you going to tell me something good about my friend? The man again replied ‘No’. So, you have something bad to tell me about my friend and you are not even sure that it is true. Never-mind, let’s move on to third filter, you still have one more chance to pass the test.

The next and last filter is the filter of USEFULNESS. So, the question Socrates asked the man was what the man had to tell him about Socrates’ friend useful for him. Again the man said ‘No’.

Socrates concluded the conversation and replied to the man ‘if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good and nor even useful, why do you want to tell it to me?’

I just liked the three simple filters Socrates put before getting involved in backbiting or gossip. I think this is the reason why he is respected as a great philosopher and holds a high esteem. I know it is difficult to be like the philosopher, but we can always give a try. Hope the story will serve as a food for your mind.


Himanshu Rawat (author) from Chandigarh on January 24, 2015:

thanku jashan mundi for giving ur tym...i argee with u dat we should nt lie to our frndzz..frndshp is d mst expnsv gft of our lyf..

jashan mundi on August 13, 2014:

Its reallybheart touching story....most of the things u hear about ur frndz rnot always true.....trust ur frndz....nd lose them bcz of any misunderstanding....if they r hiding smth 4rom u which will hurt u....the reason is that they don't want to lose u....

Himanshu Rawat (author) from Chandigarh on February 25, 2013:

Thanku for spending time to read my hub. I am really touched by the story, it's a life time lesson and an easy way to teach children. I am impressed by your profile , great going in just four months.

Tirralan Watkins from Los Angeles, CA on February 23, 2013:

Rawat, very good tools on how to measure gossip. It's so prevalent, especially in the workplace, so thank you for sharing this story.

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