The three sieves

Someone came to the wise Socrates and said: “Listen Socrates, I have to tell you something!”
“Hold on!”, the wise man stopped him. “Did you put through the three sieves what you want to tell me?”
“Three sieves?”, the other one asked in amazement.
“Yes, my friend! Let’s try if this, you want to tell me, passes through the three sieves: The first sieve is the one of truth. Did you examine whether what you were about to tell me was true?”
“Well, no, not really. I just overheard the Story …”
“Ah! Well, then you must have used the second sieve, the sieve of good? Is it something good that you are about to tell me?”
The other man said hesitantly: “Hm, no … on the contrary …”
“Hm …”, the wise man interrupted him. “Let us use the third sieve then, the sieve of necessity. Is it absolutely necessary for you to tell me what you are so exited about?”
“No, not really necessary …”
“Well”, Socrates said with a smile. “If the story you are about to tell me isn’t true, good, or necessary, just forget it and don’t bother me with it anymore.”

anecdote about Socrates – Greek philosopher (469-399 B.C), some sources cite Plato (Greek philosopher, c. 428-348 v. Chr.) or “the young Polimus” as other Person, Quotations book 2018