“There is someone among us who is unworthy,”
Said a young man to the old and wise Socrates.
“A disreputable person he is clearly.
When I tell you what he is doing you will see
That our group cannot tolerate folk such as these.
I’ve told you. You can take measures necessary.”
“Before I will do anything you must tell me
If what you say is true. Did you see it first hand?
Or is it only something that you overheard?”
Socrates asked the man who had only one word
Which was ‘No.’ “Then the sieve of truth it cannot stand,”
Said the wise one. “You may have to let this one be.”
“Will you tell me of something good or positive
About this man, or are you here to tell me things
About him that are nasty? If it’s the latter
Then it is best for you to ignore the matter.
The sieve of goodness cancels out your utterings.
Go about your own business and let the man live.”
“What are you so excited about anyway?
Is it that necessary to come to tell me
Of this thing most upsetting?” The man bowed in shame
And retracted his story which now seemed quite lame.
Before dispensing gossip will it pass freely
Through the three sieves of judgement? Take care what you say.