A few days ago, I was discussing with a friend who shared with me how deeply harmed, wounded she had been, as well as the consequences she suffered in her personal and professional life because of one person who said baseless bad things about her. This conversation reminded me about the THINK principle:
T – Is it true?
H – Is it helpful/useful?
I – Is it inspiring?
N – Is it necessary?
K – Is it kind/Good?
Another great story about what we choose to communicate is Socrates’ “Triple Filter Test” which goes like:
In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said:
“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. That’s why I call it the triple filter test” 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?”
Imagine how different the world/your world would be if we only choose to seek or create information that was true, good, or useful.
What if you decided to mentally filter what you are going to talk through these three filters?
What kind of information do you really want to create and spread around you?