Will B. standing on my SOAPBOX: Rumors and Gossip
It’s that time again. The time I feel I must climb on up my old soapbox to voice a concern that I believe is at the root of what could turn a community of loving friendly people against one another.
The thing I speak of is rumors and gossip. These two things can do so much damage to a closely-knit community. Such as break the trust of the people around you, damage a person’s reputation, damage your relationship with those around you, and it could have legal ramifications. There are so many more things that rumors and gossip can do that are very negative to a small community.
Some would say there is nothing you can do about rumors and gossip because of social media. It all starts with you as an individual. Take a stand even if the person spreading rumors is your family member or close friend. You might be surprised how one person saying, “Spreading rumors is not the right thing to do in our community” can start a chain reaction to nip hurtful and damaging actions in the bud.
When there is a jury of peers summoned to decide the fate of an individual on trial for a crime, those jury members are picked from the community the crime happened. Those jury members, although they will try to be impartial, will still have those rumors and gossip in mind, and it will impact their ability to look at the evidence in an unbiased manner.
Way back when I was just a young whippersnapper, we played a game in school to show just how a few words would dramatically change the further it got from the person saying the rumor. It would start as a simple statement like “Johnny likes to eat apples.” And by the time that statement got around the room—whispered from one ear to another— the simple statement would morph into something totally different than what was said. It would end up like “Johnny ate so many apples he died.” While this was not the exact sentence we used in the game, it had the same effect. If you do not know the facts of a situation, it is best to keep your thoughts and suspicions to yourself.
Let’s keep our loving community just that and wrap our arms and hearts around those who befall tragedy while spreading a message of love and concern and not one of rumors and gossip.
Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what helps build others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen.”
This is Will B. Saying be there for one another and support your neighbor in their time of need.