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Thursday, 14 August 2014

Rumor has it you've been....... Danger of rumour mill

When I was in college, there was a rumour that went around that my friend's boyfriend was part of a bunch of hooligans at college. Someone told someone else that he belongs to one of the notorious gang. Needless to say, it was completely untrue and totally ridiculous. But it took off for a while and was quite an embarrassment to him and my friend. Luckily, with time, it went away after a while. But the damage was done....some people to this day believe that it just might be true. See, that's the thing about rumours. Once they are told, they can never be taken back. And they don't just hurt one person; it's like a ripple effect. This particular one was about my very good friend's boyfriend but it affected not just him but several other people as well.

 I was thinking about this story last night because of something my elder sister said to me. I was having a moment of frustration due to a rumour that had been started about me since last year. As always the voice of reason, she told me not to worry about the few people that believed it and to put it out of my head. I told her it was easy for her to say since the rumour wasn't about her and it didn't affect her. She got irritated, rightly so, and told me it DID affect her because she was the one who had to deal with me when I was upset about it. Later on I thought about it more and I realized that it affected her in more ways than just that. If someone stated that I was a liar, then he would have to be one too. Since we’ve lives together before I came to live in the United Kingdom and she knows everything about me, if I was lying about something important, she would have to be just as untruthful. And that got me really frustrated; it's upsetting enough to have people say something about yourself, but your sister....well that are a whole other ball of wax.

 Then I started thinking how this has also effected my other siblings. Due to the whole situation, my sister almost lost a friend that they’ve know each other for more than 30 years and she's old enough to ask why. And I don't really know what to tell her so I just change the subject the best I can. Luckily she is blessed with wisdom and she was able to manage and change the situation of her friendship with her friend, so it hasn't impacted her too much, but it's still bothersome when she asks "why don't you face your own business and not involving yourself in gossiping?” When the issues of this gossiping of a thing happened, I never wanted my sisters to have to take sides and I hate that some people claimed they did. The truth is what I was accused of wasn’t even true but you know as long as you open your mouth in any opinions of uncertain reliability, you’ve joined them to steer the wheel of rumour. Of course, expect to be called the gossiper!

  So, what's the moral of the story? Please, please, please think before you tell a story about someone else. Ask yourself: "am I 100% sure what I'm about to tell is the truth?", "is what I'm about to share going to bring someone up or tear them down?", "will this story have effect on your family relationship with another family?" and lastly "am I sharing this story because I've been hurt and want to hurt someone else?" Or are u sharing this story because you're so na├»ve that people cant be trusted and they can twist your words to make themselves justified for the wrong they have done?

 I won't begin to claim that I have never been involved in the gossip mill....I know for a fact that I have shared stories that I didn't know we're 100% true, that tore someone else down, that effected a child involved in the situation and that was told simply to hurt another individual. Am I proud of those things? Definitely not...especially now being on the other side. I know now how much it hurts, how frustrating it is to straighten out and how many people can be effected. It has given me a perspective I never had before...and maybe one I needed.

 So, next time you feel like sharing a story you heard from a friend of a friend of a friend....please don't because you don't know if your friend is jealous of that friend. You have no idea how far it will spread and how many people could be hurt. It's just not worth it. And just think, one of those people being effected could end up being someone you really care about.

"Spiritual growth is marked by an ever-increasing awareness of your weaknesses, and an ever-increasing satisfaction in Christ as your righteousness" Joseph Prince

 Thanks for reading. God bless!

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