During the Wednesday night meeting last evening Bill Johnson asked if people could remember words of wisdom others had shared that would help us to become a more civil society. I mentioned a poem often quoted by Hilda Spalding. The poem is entitled, “Three Gates.”
If you are tempted to reveal
A tale to you someone has told
About another, make it pass,
Before you speak, three gates of gold.
These narrow gates: First, "Is it true?"
Then, "Is it needful?" In your mind
Give truthful answer. And the next
Is last and narrowest, "Is it kind?"
And if to reach your lips at last
It passes through these gateways three,
Then you may tell the tale, nor fear
What the result of speech may be.
-- from The Arabian
I then mentioned that in this age of Face Book, Twitter, blogs, and e-mail we need to be especially mindful of these "Three Gates" of gold.