“One day Socrates was approached by a tormented man who said to him: “Listen Socrates, I have something important to tell you about your friend.”
“Wait a minute”, the wise man interrupted. “Have you sifted what you want to tell me through the three sieves?”
“Three sieves?” asked the other man astonished.
“Yes, my friend. Let’s see if what you want to tell me can be sifted through the three sieves.
The first sieve is that of the truth: are you convinced that everything you want to tell me is true?”
“Actually, no. I only overheard others saying it.”
“Well, surely you at least sifted it through the second sieve, the one of goodness? Even if what you want to tell me isn’t completely true, is it at least good?”
The man replied in hesitation: “I must confess that it is not, quite the contrary…”
“And did you think about the third sieve? Did you wonder what is the point of telling me these things about my friend? Is it useful for something?”
“You see?”, continued the wise man. “If what you want to tell me isn’t true, isn’t good or useful, then I prefer not to hear about it and recommend that you forget it”.
Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior