IAN PAISLEY’S PASSING
As I begin this month’s reflection news is breaking of the passing of Ian Paisley R.I.P. Paisley was for forty plus years the most recognizable politician in the North of Ireland. “The big man” will long be remembered for his bombastic preaching style and his “no surrender” approach to Irish nationalist.
He has left us with many memorable statements; these are a few examples, which I trust will bring a smile to your face:
“The scarlet woman of Rome”—this was how he famously referred to Pope John Paul II.
When asked in New York in 1994 if he would shake the hand of Gerry Adams he responded: “Mr. Adams would have to repent from his evil ways, I am here tonight by the grace of God, a sinner saved by grace.”
One of my personal favorites: “Line dancing is as sinful as any other type of dancing, with its sexual gestures and touching. It is an incitement to lust.”
“No, I wouldn’t” — his response to John Hume, the leader of the SDLP party who said that if the word “no” were removed from the English language, Paisley would be speechless.
“If anybody had told me a few years ago that I would be doing this, I would have been unbelieving” — inside the Parliament Buildings at Stormont, after agreeing to enter a power-sharing government with former IRA leader Martin McGuinness as his deputy First Minister.
This last quote is a reminder to all of us to, never say never, Paisley learned that in the end he would have to change his attitude to power sharing and in the interests of peace sit down and work with his sworn enemies.
In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”
“Hold on a minute”, Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”
“That’s right”, Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”
“No,” the man said, “Actually I just heard about it and …”
“All right”, said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”
“No, on the contrary.”
“So”, Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: The filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”
“No, not really.”
“Well”, concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”
Should you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-282-8445
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