Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Tragedy of Gossip

When my fourteen year old daughter recently lost a tooth she and my wife reminded me as we chatted of that irresistible feeling of digging your tongue in the groove where the tooth once lay; there’s hours of fun, intrigue and mindless amusement right there!

This situation illustrates how inherently passionate we are about engaging our senses, and how difficult it is to resist these sorts of ‘natural’ temptations.

It also reminded me of the ‘natural’ temptation we get in life to get involved in gossip. It’s almost too easy to get involved in relationships where gossip damages lives. I mean, we start shooting our mouths off without any thought sometimes, especially with a little indirect coaxing by the foolhardy.

Gossip, almost by definition, is that conflict-communication activity that gets busy particularly whenever we’re not part of the problem or solution.

Gossip (getting involved when we’re not part of the problem or solution) is like an aggressive cancer for relationships. It’s an indirect acid, reacting with and digesting the healthy parts of relationships from near and afar, until they are no more, corroding even our own sense of self-worth.

Gossip is tragic for healthy relationships as people stop thinking the best of one another in favour of believing ‘choice morsels.’ Gossip does something quite subversive to the truth, leaving a swath of destruction in its path. The truth is left unconsidered in silence and solitude.

We’re wise to seek honest, trustworthy confidants, who do not compromise their integrity for anything. A good test of someone’s character here is in avoiding the person who talks too much—their lack of discipline will almost certainly bring them (and perhaps us) undone eventually.

Even better it is to be the person who refuses point blank to gossip; if that were us what a friend we would be!

© 2009, S. J. Wickham.

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