Gossip: Noun, casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, involving details that are not confirmed as being true.

I very rarely have come across a case of gossip that did not hurt or upset the parties who were the victims of that gossip.

Growing up I was taught to use my words instead of my fists to settle an argument. Physical violence was not tolerated unless you had to resort to it in self-defense. The results of physical violence is always someone being hurt physically but the verbal violence of our words hurts emotionally. This emotional hurt can have lasting effects that we can’t even begin to imagine.

Take for instance, gossip that you might hear about your spouse. When you first hear it you might not take any stock it what was said but it’s our instinct of self preservation that puts the hint of doubt to our thoughts. What if confronting your spouse about the gossip leads to a fight, doubt and hurt feelings? Hopefully the gossip doesn’t have any lasting repercussions on your relationship and the two of you can see the gossip for what it is, but what if it doesn’t?

Another example of gossip, is gossip spread at work. Jealousy can be the leading factor as to why people spread gossip at the work place. Gossip at work can possibly jeopardize someones source of income and not only hurts the victim of that gossip but it hurts their loved ones who are counting on that person for financial support.

Can you imagine the impact gossip can have on a business when most businesses relay on word-of-mouth for repeat customers?

Then, too, consider what gossip does to young children and teens whose self-esteem is just developing. Some children just can’t cope with all the stress of growing up, let alone have to survive being the victim of vicious gossip.

Negative emotions are always the result of gossip. Gossips are bullies who use the power of words to hurt others. There is a sayings that comes to mind when I think about gossip, "If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all."

If you are the victim of gossip, I feel for you and can only hope that you can adopt the attitude of, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names and gossips can never hurt me."

You may not be the victim or the gossip but you are the party that hears the gossip. To this I suggest that you understand that gossip very rarely is intended to help anyone and that you choose to not take much stock in what you’ve heard. Do not blindly accept what is being said. Find the truth in all you hear and make your own judgments accordingly.

Think about this, what if we spread only truthful and good gossip? Could we start a new trend and redefine the word gossip?

It would be a much better world if we all would be impeccable with our words. Speak with integrity and say only what we mean and we know to be truthful. Think before you speak. Use words in the direction of truth and love for one another.

Richard Steele, dramatist, says it best when he said, "Fire and Swords are slow engines of destruction, compared to the tongue of a Gossip."

Random Ramblings by Jackie Sikes is, of course, sumitted randomly.