Many people consider gossip to be a harmless pastime.
What about you?
by Janet Treadway
“My Name Is Gossip. I have no respect for justice. I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives. I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age.
The more I am quoted the more I am believed. I flourish at every level of society. My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name and no face.
To track me down is impossible. The harder you try, the more elusive I become. I am nobody's friend. Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same. I topple governments and ruin marriages. I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights, heartache and indigestion. I spawn suspicion and generate grief.
I make innocent people cry in their pillows. Even my name hisses. I AM CALLED GOSSIP.”
This eye-opening poem from an unknown author says a lot about the damage done through gossip. What about the famous phrase we all have heard. "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"? In our hearts, we know this is not true, even though it may be a useful attitude to take when insulted by others. Reciting those words does not take the hurt away.
Words do tremendous damage. So unless you've been a victim of violent crime or of a major illness or something else catastrophic, your deepest pains have probably come from hurtful words.