”Evil gossip kills three: the one who says, the one who listens, and the subject of the gossip” -Talmud
The sages teach us that each time someone speaks badly of others, it is like killing three persons. Human ability to convey ideas and feelings through words is unique to us. It can be tremendous blessing, but it can be also opportunity for abuse.
I’ll tell you a tale that gives us some helpful hints on how to better deal with those who gossip and how to stop ourselves from spreading rumors as well.
One day, a student came up to the great philosopher and said to him: ‘‘I have just heard some news about one of your friends.’‘ he excitedly exclaimed.
”Before you tell me this news, we need to make sure that it passes the triple filter test,” responded philosopher.
”What is the triple filter test?” the man asked
‘‘The first test is that of TRUTH. So, tell me, do you know that what you are going to tell me is absolutely true?” asked the philosopher.
After thinking for a moment, the man said, ” I heard this news from someone else, so I am not 100% sure if it is true.”
‘‘The second test is that of GOODNESS”, the philosopher continued, ”Is what you are about to tell me something good?”
”No,actually, it is quite opposite…’
The philosopher interrupted the man, ”So what are you going to tell me is neither true,nor good?” The man was slightly embarrassed and shrugged his shoulders.
The philosopher continued, ”There is one final test which is USEFULNESS. Is what you are about to tell me going to be useful?”
‘‘Probably not,’‘ the man replied.
”Well, if you are going to tell me something that is not true, good or useful, then why tell me at all?’‘ responded the philosopher.
I am sure that we’re indulged in a bit of gossip from time to time. We all come across salacious information occasionally that we feel compelled to pass on to others.
The next time you do, pass the info through the triple filter test to see if you really should be telling others.
Proverbs 26:20 says, ”Without wood a fire goes out, without gossip a quarrel dies down”.