I got a call the other day from someone who wanted to share some ‘information’ with me. After a few seconds of listening to them, I realized it wasn’t something I really wanted to know about…so I stopped them and chose to change the subject.
They got a little agitated about it and asked, “Why did you cut me off in the middle of my story and change the subject?”
My reply was, “Because If didn’t feel I’d benefit from your story and I didn’t want to waste either of our time.
Needless to say, the conversation didn’t last much longer.
But it did remind me of a story I read about Socrates’ philosophy on gossip and ‘bad’ news.
One day, a man rushed up to Socrates,saying,”I have some news to tell you!”
Socrates put up his hand to stop the excited man…
“First let me ask you three questions,” Socrates said.
“Uhhh…errrrr…okay” said the man.
“Is the news you are about to tell me something you personally know to be true?”
“Well,no” replied the man. “I heard it from a good source, though.”
“Then let’s go to second question,” Socrates said.
“Is the news you want to tell me about someone you know personally?”
“Well,no,”the man said.”But I think you know the person.”
“I see,” said Socrates.
“Then let me ask you my final question: Is this news positive or negative?”
“Well, it’s negative.”
“Let me see,” said the wise Socrates. “You want to tell me some news that you don’t know personally to be true,about someone you don’t know at all, and that is negative.”
“Well,it sounds bad when you put it like that.”
“I think I’ll pass,” Socrates said.
You should adopt this philosophy too.
Before you say or listen to anything be sure to run it past the three pillars of positivity:
1) Is it factually true?
2) Is about someone you know personally?
3) Is it positive or negative?
Just asking the three questions will cut down on 99% of the gossip that happens in our lives.
Before you call me, email me or contact me make sure that you remember what Rufus & Chaka Khan said back in the 70s:
Tell me something good!