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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

The Venom of Gossip

Gossip is defined as a trifling, an often groundless

rumor, usually of a personal, sensational, or intimate

nature, or just plain idle talk that casts aspersions upon the character

of another person.

We all engage in gossip. Some of us gossip more than others,

but the truth is we have all delighted in gossip at one time or another.

It brings us a certain adolescent gladness to be in the know.

Our egos are inflated and our pride elevated when we are able to

tell someone something we know that they don’t know, but want

to know.

Gossip may begin with facts, but usually is carried away very

quickly by speculation into the realm of imagination. Through our

speculations—or, even worse, our deceit—we can effortlessly cause

enormous harm to other people.

Gossipmongers are cowards and are never true friends. A true

friend is interested in helping other people become the-best-versions-

of-themselves, but gossip doesn’t help anyone become a-better-

version-of-himself. Far from it; gossip reduces the character

of those who spread it, damages the character of those who listen

to it, and often does irreparable damage to the reputation of the

person being gossiped about.

Never speak in such a way as to induce your listener to think

less of any person. Only open your mouth when it will help people

to think better of others. Speak only when your words will help

someone become the-best-version-of-themselves. Otherwise remain

silent and recollected.

Each of these four maxims requires enormous restraint and

discipline. But if you allow them to guide your speech and social

interactions, all men and women of goodwill will hold you in the

highest esteem.

Matthew Kelly

From The Seven Levels of Intimacy

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