We humans sure have some odd, unhealthy ways of trying to make ourselves feel worthy, accepted, and strong. Gossiping is one.
While at a coffee shop this morning, I overheard the conversation of the women next to me. It was pretty ugly and quite frankly, made me cringe. They were talking about a coworker and the countless ways this coworker was inept (insert a southern accented “Bless her heart.”) As I listened I contemplated the dynamics behind this conversation and couldn’t help but consider it through my own perceptions. Before I continue, I must confess as a flawed individual, I have engaged in such behavior. As someone who has spent a lot of time on personal growth I have worked hard to stop such behavior, so I can see both sides of the coin, so to speak.
I feel like the pain we inflict on others by gossiping in order to make ourselves feel “better than” does nothing but create a vacuum in our lives, sucking us deeper into a pit of despair. I believe true strength lies in the ability to understand that we are all just human beings trying to be happy. Although we are unique in our personalities, perceptions, and fears, we all long for love and understanding. I am convinced empathy is key to making this world a better place. (And I don’t mean “bless her heart,” but identifying with someone, instead of “othering” them.)
How often have we sat at a table or talked on the phone about our loved ones, coworkers, friends? Or sat idly by as others spoke? All because we feel sorry for their ineptness? I think not. Because when someone is down and out, or dare we say different, we want to believe that won’t happen to us, or isn’t us. But it is. We are all human in our ability to fail and thrive. So we talk about how we hope they will “get help” or “get better,” bless their hearts, instead of calling them directly and asking them what they may need, or just to tell them we care. Or if it is a prickly situation, just send some good thoughts their way and move on.
My biggest lesson has been, of course, from being the brunt of gossip. Hurt has a way of making you hard, or, it can open your eyes to your own flaws. In order to heal as humans, I feel we must engage with one another with honesty, empathy, and with love emanating from our hearts.
Just my thoughts this morning.