By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Every person with friends and family has at one time been exposed to idle gossip. While gossip is always despised by those falling prey to the talk, it is often reciprocated back to the gossiper.
Sadly, the “he said, she said” conflicts between people are just as much a part of life as life and death. It is a proven fact that very few people agree on every facet of life.
But when differences of opinion become the foundation to destroy the lives of other people, we categorically fit into the Biblical description in King James Cambridge edition: “But the tongue no man can tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”
While communication between people is fundamental, the terms of those conversations should reflect concern rather than vindictiveness or information rather than hurtful gossip.
Gossip and deceit can carry life-long scars.
In school, those who fail to reach the “popular” status often experience low self-esteem and their reaction is to either withdraw or rebel. Degrading comments regarding appearance, clothing, intelligence level, and social status may be a determining factor in a person’s self-perception and may even carry an influence on their future choices. Those who feel inadequate may never possess the confidence to become a leader or may make bad choices with their lives because they feel inadequate or undesirable.
A prime example and constant reminder is the shooter at Columbine High School who fit into the category of rejected and ridiculed. The end result was a tragic reaction that left students dead, our nation in turmoil and families in grief. How sad that reality doesn’t have the happy ending of the toys of Misfit Island who were rescued by Rudolph during Santa Claus’ annual Christmas Eve run.
While domestic violence continues to be a problem in our society, the unmarked scars of verbal abuse are just as damning as physical ones. Those hurtful words leave unseen scars in the emotional status of one’s self-esteem and may never leave that corner of the memory box.
Family trouble that is well-known throughout a community is another area when gossip can rip hearts into shreds of despair. With the social media outlets of our society, it is common for family members to vent frustration when some of their family is subject of “town talk.” Regardless of the degree of the offense or incident, knowing that people are talking about a loved one is still hurtful. Never having a chance to defend or explain that person’s actions as publicly as the offense is promoted is also another venue of frustration when gossip prevails.
While I myself must plead guilty to most counts outlined here, it should be the constant goal of every person to bask in the good and share those positive points of life and living rather than question and spread the bad.
It would be hard on the news business, since bad news always outsells good news, but it would definitely be a plus for the overall concept of our community.
We should be watchful that our words weigh truth and honor. Just one wrong communication can ruin a reputation, a career, a goal, or even a life.