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A Don’t Do That Elevates

February 5, 2014

We climb our mountain by elevating ourselves and/or vice versa.  We elevate ourselves by the good that we do and by that which keeps us climbing.  We elevate when we connect with others through acts of kindness and charity.  We also elevate ourselves by doing things that keep us from being paralyzed in one spot, as in “Go Forward”.

Less discussed is that we also elevate ourselves when we don’t do some things.  When we refrain or restrain ourselves from doing something that halts our progress, or is hurtful to another, we are actually elevating ourselves.  Something intentionally hurtful to another, is by definition also hurtful to ourselves and our unique purpose.  It is hurtful to our and others progress.

Here is one of those Don’ts

Idle Gossip

For each of us and in our culture today, idle gossip is all too common.  It is corrosive to all relationships and our culture.  Idle gossip is not so idle, it travels.

Testing for gossip

Socrates had what he called the “Triple Filter Test”  for gossip.

The first filter is Truth. –  Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell someone about someone is true?

The second filter is Goodness –  Is what you are about to tell someone about someone something Good?

The third filter is Usefulness. –  Is what you are about to tell someone about someone useful to that someone?

If what you are about to say does not pass through all three filters – don’t say it!  The stronger the temptation, the stronger you become by resisting.  By resisting you are growing and improving.

The original basis for this test probably comes from the Jewish teachings against Lashon Hara, or the evil tongue.

“You shall not go around as a gossipmonger” — Leviticus

“Evil gossip kills three: the one who says it, the one who listens, and the subject of the gossip”. — Talmud

“What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t invent with your mouth”. – Yiddish proverb

Heart and Soul

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sophia permalink
    February 6, 2014 8:05 pm

    Thank You, for your words of wisdom Fred 🙂

  2. Erin permalink
    February 5, 2014 4:36 pm

    Great post and so perfect to read to my students as we start our retreat today in paradise! Will of course give you full credit! Warmly, e

    • Fred Fox permalink*
      February 5, 2014 7:59 pm

      Wow! The Spinning Rabbi being read to a Yoga retreat class in Thailand. Thank You!

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