We live in a time where there really are very few secrets. Everything is so exposed and open and shared with everyone. It’s become harder and harder to go through personal stuff behind closed doors and it seems that so many people want to share their misery in a very public forum like Facebook or Twitter. I’m astounded by the amount of people who reveal really intimate details about their relationship/family/health on social media. Is nothing sacred anymore? All this over-exposing of information is creating a super breeding-ground for gossip.
It’s astonishing how much information can fly around the world in such a short amount of time. People are greedy for it and they want to be the ones with the most of it. It somehow makes you important if you know something others don’t. It’s becoming the modern currency. The people behind the stories become irrelevant as the stories take on a life of their own and evolve to something they never started out being. And gossip is the fertilizer.
Once you have taken part in it, you cannot undo the resulting damage. You have no idea where your words are going to end up or who they are going to affect. You are spreading poison and the really heart-breaking thing is that these days, it doesn’t have to be anywhere near the truth for people to believe it to be so. Even when confronted with the facts, many people will choose to keep believing the story because it’s more juicy and scandalous and interesting that way. You don’t know who will repeat what you have said or how your words will be distorted in the retelling. You cannot control the narrative once it's out of your mouth. Words have power that once unleashed, you cannot reign in again.
This scene from the brilliant movie 'Doubt' sums it up perfectly:
Where are your words flying as you read this?
What damage have you caused by gossiping?
What incorrect assumptions have you made about someone or something?
Who else’s business have you stuck your nose into without their welcome or request?
What is the ripple effect of your invasive presence, incorrect summation and destructive judgement about somebody else’s life?
Let your words always be the truth. Speak without an agenda. If someone starts gossiping with you, don't be a part of it. If you have a problem with someone, go directly to them to sort it out, don't start the gossip with people who are not involved. Don't involve yourself in someone else's story and stop involving them in yours. Stop hearing the poison, stop speaking the poison.
Remain impeccable with your word and words will remain impeccable about you!