How well do you guard your tongue?
“Strong minds discuss ideas,average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” Socrates
I used to work with a person who was largely regarded as "The Town Herald."
You know the type.
Every time something interesting happened in the office (or if there was a RUMOR of something interesting), he had to be the first one to spread the news. He frequently plopped down in someone's office for no purpose OTHER than to stir the atmosphere up with speculation about reported movements in people's personal or professional life.
No topic, however sensitive or mundane, was off-limits to his commentary.
His shenanigans made me a little crazy. I used to compare notes with others to see if they were similarly bothered and, not surprisingly, most were at least as irritated as me.
Yup. We ALL felt the same way about this guy...
Do you see what happened?
I gossiped about the office gossip.
Dang. I missed it again!
I fell into his traffic pattern and was too busy being self-righteous to even notice my duplicity.
I wish this was a one-time thing. But candidly, it's taken me years to figure out how to deal with my drift towards talking about people instead of ideas; to dwell on what's helpful instead of what's destructive.
I love the proverb (26:20) which says, "without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip, a quarrel dies down." If I want to live in peace, the starting point is with managing my words.
What would today look like if you stopped talking about people? Give it a try and let me know.
I'm still practicing!