Words Have Power, Use Them Wisely

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." I've always loved that quote, because it's true on so many levels. To talk about great ideas, making new and exciting plans means you're setting up a positive future. The "average" mind discusses events, past tense---to live in the past is to be depressed, to live in the future can drum up anxiety. Anxiety can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it. There is anxiety that is equivalent to anticipation, and I believe that's what this quote speaks about. But whenever I hear someone talking about somebody else's business, or speaking poorly of them, I always know that in my heart my name will be next on their list of discussion. In Judaism, it clearly speaks about how gossip can kill. They say, "Evil gossip kills three: the one who says it, the one who listens, and the subject of the gossip." Eventually, if all involved are not careful, they will end up being dragged through the muck. And of course, there's always three sides of the story: yours, theirs and the truth. Everyone has their own version of the story, even if they think they're telling the truth, sometimes the events can distort as their anger increases. Have you ever had a falling out with somebody, and someone comes along and says, "Oh, 'so 'n so' is so nice," and you feel like (or you actually say)---"Well, you don't know them very well then." Right when that thought sneaks into your mind to smack down that nice comment, stop yourself. Once you correct them and let them know what they did to you, then you become the "complainer," and most likely, that person listening to you will sort of steer clear of you. There are some people known to talk crap about people all the time---it's now become their reputation---just ignore it. Judge someone for yourself, not by what other people say about them. Make your own assumption, because whatever happened between whoever is their business only.

This is not to say you can't talk about people in general---I'm only talking about defaming someone's character, or speaking badly about them. Even if the person being spoken about is unlikeable or has a bad reputation---just ignore it. Don't speak of it and don't listen to it. Judge for yourself. I always give people the benefit of the doubt, until I can't anymore. And when I can't anymore is when they've shown their true colors to me. I never go by someone else's experience. I wasn't there. I'm not going to "be careful" about 'so 'n so' and I'm not going to take what anyone says as gospel. I go according to how they treat me. That's it.

There was a girl in our circle who everyone spoke badly about. I heard all sorts of things, like how how she goes online looking for men while she's married, how she never works and that she's lazy. Some even claimed she even stole stuff from their refrigerator while she was babysitting their kid, while others slammed her for simply being overweight. One day, I finally got to know this person as a person. I took the time to get to know her and spend time with her. She not only took care of her family, but she was an amazing cook, she worked from home doing stuff like eBay and had a craft business. She was funny, creative, kind and the most giving person I ever met. I never laughed so hard with someone before. Soon enough, I knew that all the claims that were spread about her were false. Every bit of it. I saw how she lived and let me tell you---her life was one to be admired. Her family loved her more than life. Her kids, now older couldn't say enough good things about her. I saw the true person behind all the slander. She was a complete angel in my eyes...and now, she's an angel in heaven due to health complications. But I am so happy that I saw through the muck, the slander, the lies---I saw her true authenticity. She always lit up a room with her positive attitude and bubbly personality. I will never forget her. Those who spoke badly about her, now speak really highly of her. What is it about people who speak so badly about someone, and once they die, they become "such a good person?" I'll never understand.

Words have power. Use them wisely.

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