DID YOU HEAR
Did you hear what she said? Did you see what he did? Oh my god, I can't believe it, what does he think…and she told me so, I am telling you, don’t tell me what to tell and what not to tell, because he told me that in person. I am getting a headache. But isn’t gossip fun?
I love gossip. It hard for me to write an article against it, but a man got to do what a man got to do. Ok, but first, before I start to viciously attack gossip and describe you all as petty voyeurs on a verge of a cultural bancrupcy, let me tell you why gossip is the best thing that has ever happened to the human race. Well, at least until the kardashians were created.
Without gossip there would be no flow of information. There would be no development as a species, no learnt experiences, no generations of tradition, gossip is what is known as "the spoken bible", the stories, and if you look at the bible itself, it is ninety percent pure gossip. He did that, and she said this, and they went to war with them, and he murdered his brother, and married the general's wife, and she got a baby when she was seventy, and three wise man, and no room in the inn and it is all just an extremely old copy of the inquirer. King of the Jews born in Bethlehem, mother of five gives birth to a twelve pound squid, see photos of kate's new plastic surgery scars on page three.
But nooooo…we never gossip. Gossip is bad. Lets go a little forward in our time line. The advancement of science in the modern world. it is true, that at this point in time, we are semi civilized and the flow of information is quite remarkable for the period, but still, I have this nagging feeling that the advancement of science was in a such rapid race because of rumours and poor gossip and not the real circulation of scientific material. He did what? Are they crazy, that cannot be done! They are playing with … she found what? Are you serious?...they say they discovered what? They are out of their blimey mind I tell you, and other conversations of the sorts.
We know for fact the whole business world is based on rumors and gossip. A cough by a ceo can make his share price drop to its knees, an unauthorized "quote" from a senior employee can close down a big firm, it is all about image, all about being faster than the truth, and this is a fertile ground of gossip traders.
So it is important to us as a culture, but how can we make sure it does not bring more harm than benefit, does more damage than use? I have tried to live by the Rotarian test that says that before you open your mouth make sure it is truth, that it is fair to all concerned, that it brings good will and friendship and is beneficial to all concerned.
This test is a good gossip test, and usually works also as a bovine manure detector.
And so I began the experiment. That was a couple of years ago and I have been a recluse since, hardly accepting visitors. That is the only way to live by those rules, which, unfortunately are completely valid rules . but you find you don’t have a lot to talk about when all the gossip is removed. It does make those few conversations you now have much more meaningful…
Because in the end of the day, gossip hurts people. It usually does, not because we are mean spirited but because…ok, because we are mean spirited, and we love being a bit bad. And it starts and it grows and as we were told while playing with a balloon as a child – stop before you take somebody's eye with that thing. Don’t ask.
Because there is no good gossip. Even if you say something good about someone , and it is not the truth, you have created a false impression that might hurt someone. Yeah I said he is a really great guy, I know, I met him three times, what do you want from me? Did i tell you to take him as a babysitter? No, how should I know how much a Rolex cost?
You don’t have to be a recluse and avoid talking to people, just know that gossip is bad. No matter how fun it is. And as the newest fountain of the wisest of the elders, a post somebody put on facebook, told me :
Great men talk about ideas, normal men talk about things, small men talk about other men.
but my favorite type of women or men? shhhhhhhhhh