Wednesday, February 26, 2014


A man approached Socrates one day to share some gossip. The wise philosopher asked, 'First, are you certain it's true? Second, is it something good? Third, is it something useful?' When the man said, 'Not really,' Socrates replied, 'Well, if it's not true, good or useful, why talk about it?' Gossip can feel like a form of intimacy, but it's actually a false bond motivated by the desire to diminish another person and make yourself look good.

There's WAY too much gossip in the hospital. Much is not useful. But some can be. How do we know?

The following questions can help you decide if it's useful talk:

Are you telling someone who can do something about the problem by helping, or offering discipline or correction?

Are you talking to someone wise enough to help you process your feelings and courageous enough to make you do the right thing by confronting the other person, or confessing where you're at fault?

Is this news approved for sharing?

Are you breaking a confidence, and if so, is it strictly because the person is endangering someone's life, including their own?

Are you willing to divulge your source so it can be checked?

When you say this, does it break your heart?

Would you be comfortable if someone was saying this about you?