The Three Filters

May it be the story of Socrates (469 – 399 BC) about his student, or that be of Chanakya (350–283 BC) about his friend, no authenticated reference source is available for the story, but it’s one story – if we filter information coming to us in 3 questions, life will be different.


Here’s the story:

One day a known person approached Chanakya and enthusiastically started saying, “Do you know, just a while ago, I heard few things from your friend about you?”
Chanakya was famous for his wisdom, knowledge and good behavior. He said to his known person,
“Before I listen to what you have to say, I would like to test it through my three step test.”
“What is this three step test?”, the person asked.
Chanakya made him understand, “ Before you tell me about what my friend has said, let’s take a  three step test. The first test is of truthfulness. Are you sure that whatever you are going to say is the truth?”
“No”, the person adds, “ I have heard it from somewhere.”
“Okay”, Chanakya analyzed. “If you don’t know whether it is truth or not, we will do second test.
The second test is for goodness. Are you going to tell me some good thing about my friend?”
“No, it’s opposite to it…..”
“Then”, Chanakya asked further. “Whatever you are going to say, is not the truth, is not positive about my friend then lets do the third test. The third test is of usefulness. Whatever you are going to tell me, is that useful to me?”
“No, it’s not like that.”

Chanakya then said the last thing.
“Whatever you were supposed to tell me, if its not true, its not positive, and its not useful, then why do you want to tell me?”

While working in any organization we often have this situation where our sub-ordinates would discuss about our friend and as goes hum nature we are judgmental and immediately pass on a resolution. in the process we might loose a good friend. All information must be checked on these three parameters – truthfulness, goodness, and usefulness.


All information must be checked on three parameters – truthfulness, goodness, and usefulness.


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