Thursday, September 1, 2011
"Sordid effects of gossip..." 'Michael Herr' (Aloha Friday)
'Michael Herr' (Aloha Friday) http://www.michaelherr.com/
It's Aloha Friday again and Renowned author Michael Herr is back speaking his mind about the sordid effects of gossip... Check out Michael's website at; http://www.michaelherr.com/
It's Aloha Friday.
Psst — Heard the latest?
Juicy gossip. Rumors. They spread like wildfire. You meet a friend in the supermarket or while out for a walk in the neighborhood. "Have you heard about old Mrs. Oldfeather?" "I heard that Jezebel Jenkins was seen going back to that bar downtown." "There's talk that the Wanderlust boy was stopped by the police again."
When we hear that sort of thing, what do we do? Why, of course we say "Oh, pardon me, but I don’t believe in gossiping about others." Right. Nope, we lean in a little closer. "Really?" we ask. "Tell me more." Afterwards we're all too quick to pass that latest gossip on to our spouses, "Honey, you won’t believe what Mrs. Bigmouth told me at the store." Or to another friend, "Jack, guess what I heard."
Do we check to see if what we've been told has anything to back it up? Probably not. After all, if Mrs. Bigmouth told us then it has to be true. She always knows what's going on around town.
Gossip quickly morphs into rumor. And rumors spread oh so quickly. Unfortunately, they can have such a devastating effect on the people they focus on. Marriages can be torn apart by a rumor of infidelity. Good people can lose their jobs when rumors of incompetence of malfeasance reach the ears of their supervisors.
Rumors are also quick to take on a life of their own. When the object of the rumor denies it, the ones spreading the rumor respond with "Oh, and what else would you expect him/her/them to say?" Or, "Of course he/she/they would deny it."
A persistent rumor comes back again and again, repeating the same sordid "facts" even if they have been disproved over and over. Doubt this? How many emails have you received that either you know to be untrue, or, upon checking, you have found to be untrue? Or does it matter to you? I use two websites to check the facts on scurrilous emails that come my way. And even when I respond to the sender of the email, "I checked with so-and-so and found that the truth of it is . . .", many times the sender will pooh-pooh my fact-checking. It's always much easier to believe what you want, than to change your mind when presented with the truth.
Do we love gossip and rumors? Just check sales of the National Inquirer at the newsstands.
Are gossip and rumors good for us? No, of course not. But they're so damn entertaining, aren't they?
Much aloha, and, say did you hear that Elvis is alive and hidden away in a nursing home in the Midwest?
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