GossipThis post has been on my mind and in my heart for a long time!!! The infamous gossip mill … those negative and slanderous conversations that seem to seep into the corners of all our mouths about another. Whether in truth or lies, I have never known the gossip mill to have many positive outcomes. I am not referring to those conversations that are intentional or unintentional in praising another, offering accolades or using one’s story as a way to inspire another. I am referring to those conversations that we seek due to our own insecurities, the ones we indulge in to somehow help us feel better about ourselves or our lives or the ones we partake in as a way of proving that the subject does not in fact have it all together.

My most recent experiences with the gossip mill have been most painful and are probably one of the worst forms of this activity – gossip perpetuated by those close to me. These are the people that have my number, know how to reach me on any given day and that I have shared many conversations with. However, instead of calling to talk with me directly, they participate in the gossip mill. They whisper behind my back, ask others the very questions that could easily be asked of me or make passive aggressive comments with little to no sensitivity. And while none of this is new under the sun, the one thing that I have learned is that there is an extreme the lack of compassion that accompanies the gossip mill. While others are busy comparing life stories and listing victories of defeat, there seems to be very little regard for the subject. Is s/he okay? Has any harm been done? In what ways – if any – can I be of assistance? In what ways is his/her story just like mine?

What the gossip mill fails to give voice to is that while we are busy chatting, someone is trying to put their life back together. Someone is investing time attempting to heal from hurt and pain. Someone is simply working to survive … all in the midst of mindless and unhelpful chatter. In the midst of this, I am reminded of the value – and scarcity – of those few who will stand with me without knowing or ever even asking for the details. I am thankful for those who comment on the side that “I am here if you need to talk.” And even for those who my sharing has no personal benefit whatsoever, but they choose to talk with me in private, I am appreciative. In what ways have you contributed to the flow of the gossip mill and who have you harmed in the process of your own self-indulgence?