Gossip: devil’s way into daily lives

Gossip: devils way into daily lives

by Ashley Van Alstine

“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

This age-old saying really doesn’t hold any merit.

Everyone has been hurt at some point by a violent act of communication. It might have been something small or it could have been a catastrophic lie with life-changing effects. In fact, small schools like Simpson thrive on the continuous spread of gossip regardless of the cost it has on others.

The word “gossip” supposedly originated at the beginning of the 20th century. According to one popular explanation, political figures assigned assistants to eavesdrop on conversations at the local bar while sipping beer. The practice of “go sip” with the townspeople is one explanation of where the term gossip comes from.

The modern version of gossip is far more harsh. It goes like this: When a story is retold, it’s slightly changed by the tone of the story, details, or misspeaking. As the story travels from one to another it snowballs into a much different tale.

The things we hear and repeat may seem innocent on the surface. But if we could learn to hold our tongues long enough, perhaps we’d see that the result of all that gossip is pain. Think of it this way: Most people wouldn’t steal from a friend. Most of them wouldn’t hit a neighbor either.

Gossiping is a similar attack – it’s the use of your words to assault another person. However, these three examples of causing pain are perceived very differently.

The first two seem ludicrous, but the last one is seen as an acceptable part of life. Americans tend to think they are doing nothing wrong when they gossip.

Just because you don’t physically harm someone doesn’t mean your gossiping didn’t inflict just as much pain as a fist would. It’s an evil habit. In short, the act of gossiping is the devil’s way of making it into otherwise good peoples’ lives on a daily basis.

“The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor,” says Bible verse Proverbs 11:9. One would like to think at a private Methodist-affiliated college, the students would be interested in not destroying their neighbors. At the least, they could be expected to be somewhat refined and mature.

However, it seems to me the opposite it true. Too many of these people have had everything handed to them on a plate all their lives and have never given thought to what their selfishness does to another individual.

Wake up. You’re supposed to be an adult at college. Maybe students here should start acting like adults, not spoiled, gossip-driven drama queens and kings.

Proverbs 17:9 addresses the issue well: “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates the best of friends.”