One day an acquaintance came to meet Chanakya and said to him excitedly “do you know what I just heard about your friend?”
“Just wait a while”, Chanakya replied. “Before you tell me anything I would like you to go through a little test which I call the triple filter test”.
“What’s that?” asked the acquaintance.
“I will tell you”, Chanakya said. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you are going to say. That is why I call it the Triple filter test. The first filter is ‘Truth’. Are you sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”
“No”, the man said. “Actually, I just heard about it.”
“All right”, said Chanakya. “So you don’t really know if it is true or not. Now lets us 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”, Chanakya continued, “You wanted to tell me something bad about him but you are not certain it is true. You may still pass the test because there is 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”, Continued Chanakya, “If you want to tell me what may not be true and is neither good nor useful, why tell it to me at all?”
MORAL OF THE STORY: He who repeats the ill he hears of another is the true slanderer.