"Gossip is the art of saying nothing in such a way that leaves practically nothing unsaid." ~Walter Winchell
Recently, someone I know has dealt with the underhanded blows of gossip. It has not just been about herself, but many other women whom she loves and respects. The experience has been absolutely distressing for this person. I'll confess, sometimes it is not easy to keep confidences shared with us, but I am not speaking of a small slip of the tongue. I am speaking of people who have truly made an art of gossip. "Hearts that are delicate and kind, and tongues that are neither..." ~ Logan Pearshall Smith
It astonishes me that some people do not have enough love in their hearts to keep their mouths closed. Whether or not the knowledge is true or false, there is no reason to share. It bothers me that some people need to verify the veracity of their juiciest tidbits before sharing them. Isn't it just easier to forget it and move on?
What is even more mind blowing to me is that these people usually lead very busy lives. They have children to care for, large homes to keep immaculate, and a group of "friends" to impress. (Can't give your friends anything to gossip about, right?) These people have charisma, and it is their best trait.
Serving in a leadership position in my church, I gained a lot of insight on the dangers of gossip. (I was Relief Society President.) I learned how much knowledge one could potentially glean all in the name of their calling. (I was all about knowing as little as possible.) Truly, it disgusts me that anyone in a leadership position would hold one of their charges in such disdain as to speak evil of them. A leader is a steward. They are called to be over a specific group of people, entrusted to them by Heavenly Father. Sometimes as one's leader you learn things about them in order to better help and serve them. That knowledge ought to be held in the strictest of confidence. And yet, there are leaders that feel it's their right to know everything and their blessing to share it.
So what of those that gossip? Hopefully they will learn to bind their wagging tongues, especially before it costs them their membership in the church. I love the counsel from the Lord in Doctrine and Covenants: "...Let your words tend to edify one another." (D&C 136:24) Oh, if only we could all do that. How much easier this world would be to live in.
*Side Note: This is not about someone living near me, just incase you were worried. I have the greatest friends and I hope they know that!