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Friday, January 22, 2010

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See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil.

See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil.
- Japanese pictorial maxim (the Three Wise Monkeys)

The message behind this famous image has been debated, so I'll just say what it means to me...

1. Mind your own business. What your neighbor does (within the law) is none of your concern. Accept that behavior is not evil simply because it is different.

2. Don't listen to gossip. Don't even listen when people speak badly of others.

3. Never gossip or speak unkindly of others.

This does NOT condone being an unconcerned citizen. This does NOT mean to look the other way if your co-worker is pilfering the cash drawer or you witness a crime on the street.

*** Read about my book 100 Secrets for Living a Life You Love. You can see the list of all 100 secrets, read a few of them, and get a 25%-off discount code at

Further reading: Mother Teresa quotes: Love begins at home

Mark Twain quotes: Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness

Winston Churchill quotes: We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English.

Quotes about Life


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

just do evil! :P

Anonymous said...

see no evil . hear no evil . do no evil . speak no evil . but i will use my fist to correct the evil .

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Perfect advice,,but I bet no one could do this,

Goheidigo said...

Unfortunately most people are so removed and in the "don't want to get involved" mode that this philosophy of "See,Speak,Hear no evil" could easily be misinterpreted. We live in a world now that requires involvement. If you see something, say something. We all need to take our blinders off.

Jonathan Huie said...

To Goheidigo: By all means, take action whenever you see someone being harmed by a third party. Report it when you see a crime. Express your outrage at the Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians - or the Saudi human rights abuses against their own people.

However - and this is the point of my article - allow people to live as they choose to live. Allow them their religious preferences, diet preferences, career choices, lifestyle, attitudes, and habits. If your son-in law is happy as a carpenter, don't nag him that he should go to college. If a gay couple moves into your neighborhood, welcome them.

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