Skip to content

The Sue Atkins Wednesday Story

December 22, 2010

Integrity: The triple filter test

Here’s your Wednesday story from my never ending notebook and everlasting pencil!

The Philosopher had just spent another hard day at the university asking lots of pertinent and challenging questions. On the way to his favourite brasserie for dinner, he was greeted by an acquaintance. “Hi, do you know what I just heard about your friend Jean- Luc?”

“Just a moment,” said the Philosopher. “Before listening to this I’d like to ask you a few questions.”

“Huh?” said the acquaintance, who was eager to pass on this interesting piece of hot news.

“That’s right. Before you talk about my friend Jean-Luc, it might be a good idea to just pause and consider what you are about to say. I call it the triple distillation test. The first distillation is through the filter of truth. Have you made absolutely certain that what you are about to tell me is the truth?”

“Well… no, actually, you see I just heard about it, and thought, well, you know…. “

“All right,” said the Philosopher. “So you have no idea whether the information is true or not. So let’s try the second distillation through the filter of goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”

“No, not at all, in fact….”

“So,” interrupted the Philosopher, you wish to tell me something bad about my friend Jean-Luc, but you’re not at all sure that it’s true. However, you may still pass this test, because there’s one more distillation process remaining, the filter of usefulness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend in any way useful to me?”

“Um. No. In fact, not in the slightest.”

“Fine,” said the Philosopher. “If what you want to tell me is not true, good or useful, why do you wish to tell me at all?”

• So, what are the lessons for you as a parent in this story?

• Is it about walking your talk influencing your kids by your example?

• Is it about asking better more incisive questions to find out what lies beneath the surface?

• Is it about being a better role model?

• Is it about teaching your kids about loyalty, truth and friendship?

• Is it about teaching them how to handle gossip, innuendo and rumour?

• Is it about not being influenced by others unacceptable behaviour?

I’d love to hear your comments on  all my blogs so take a few minutes to post a comment to let me know if you are enjoying these Wednesday stories and what you make of them!


Download your copy of Sue’s Ebook
How to give your kids the gift of self-esteem by clicking here

About the author

Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the  famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.

Join me on these networks



Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
T: + 44 1342 833355   M: 07740 622769

Gatehouse Farm
The Farmhouse
New Chapel
Surrey RH7 6LF



No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: