The Pioneer Press does a wonderful job of finding human-interest stories, sharing achievement and success with its publishing audience. For example, today, 8-29-12, the Pioneer Press highlighted two Simley High School seniors, Jake Short and Nick Wanzek, who will be wrestling for the Minnesota Gophers next year. I contemplated, after writing about hotelier and philanthropist Henri Landwirth (see: http://pingroof.com/article/many-minnesotans-choose-not-to-vaccinate-their-children-choose-love-or-fear?cid=db_articles and http://pingroof.com/article/many-minnesotans-choose-not-to-vaccinate-their-children-choose-love-or-fear-2?cid=db_articles ,) on what we individually and as a society verbally pass on to our community, friends, family, and associates on a daily basis. Do we spread good news, speak of positive ‘happenings’, and share the ‘wonderful’ with others? I am surprised, and somewhat saddened that no one I have spoken with knew whom Mr. Henri Landwirth was or heard of his compassion.
The Talmud, a central text in Judaism, tells that the tongue is an instrument so dangerous that it must be kept hidden from view, behind two protective walls (the mouth and teeth) to prevent misuse. “Speech has been compared to an arrow: once the words are released, like an arrow, they cannot be recalled, the harm they do cannot be stopped, and the harm they do cannot always be predicted, for words like arrows often go astray,” is quoted from Judaism 101 (see: http://www.jewfaq.org/speech.htm .)
The manner in which we use our language, ideally to promote goodness and kindness, has been written about for thousands of years, by scholars such as Socrates, Jesus, and many other sages. Socrates wrote of the “Triple Filter Test” (See: http://iranscope.ghandchi.com/Fun/socrates.htm ) in which to judge our verbiage. We must, according to the test:
- Filter of truth; make absolutely certain that what we say is true.
- Filter of goodness; make sure, what we are about to say is something positive.
- Filter of usefulness; make certain the information is of importance and useful.
Many find it easy to share stories that do not pass Socrates “Triple Filter Test,” and our nightly news and newspapers are filled with such stories. I ponder what our world would be like if we were careful with our words and conscientiously used them for positive comments about others. Moreover, instead of teaching our students and children about famous criminals who commit horrific mass murder (most of us know the names of Jeffrey Dahmer, Timothy McVeigh, and James Holmes, etc.,) we could teach them about the heroes that are not necessarily in the entertainment industry, but people that make a difference in society, like Henri Landwirth and local heroes.
Maybe, by starting to follow the “Triple Filter Test” and speak of positive ideas and the positive influence of others, our world will slowly grow more positive.
Thank-you for reading.