The writer, Daniel A. Lord calls it the “commonest fault” and the “meanest of human instincts.” He considers it cowardly, as the person being gossiped about rarely knows about it. He says people do it because they can’t get attention in other ways. They have no fresh ideas to contribute to a conversation so they resort to gossiping to get people to pay attention to them.
He talks about the terrible damage it does, to a person’s reputation.
“Fundamentally, it’s a form of murder. Cold and deliberately, a knife is driven into a reputation. Ruthlessly a character is slain. A fair name is ruined in the eyes of others…”
“And it’s so utterly cowardly! There is no real chance to defend oneself. One can’t strike back . It’s like fighting ghosts and shadows, and snipers who shoot from safe hiding places. The assassin who stabs in the back takes some slight physical risk. The gossip takes none. His victim is absent, unable to defend himself, helpless against the poison that drops from venomed tongues.
He may never know what really happened, why some dear friend suddenly turned against him, why he read unaccountable suspicion in the eyes of acquaintances. And all the while, his betrayer works in darkness, at a safe distance, without the possibility of his victim’s striking back. It’s a coward’s game, no matter who plays it.”
Currently, Mercury is in Capricorn (responsibility) opposing Jupiter in Cancer (benevolence of the highest order). Rather than mean-spirited gossip, the author suggests you talk beautifully about others.
“Search out their splendid heroisms and talk of them. Tell of their unselfishness, their generosity, their idealism. Find the big things they have done in art and literature, in social life, in their secret souls. Drag those things into the light…”
“Let us all leave gossip for small minds and uncharity for mean minds. For us, only the best and finest that is in humanity.”
This seems an excellent instruction under the current sky.
Do you see yourself in this?
pictured – Thomas Sully (1783-1872). Gossip.