By Rosie Moore

One of my favorite comics is Snuffy Smith. It emits a lot of little gems each day. Here is one of them:

“Here comes the’ parson’s wife, Loweezy.”

“Let’s tell her th’ juicy gossip, Elviney.”

“I don’t know, Loweezy!! Don’t she frown on gossip?”

“You bet she does–th’ whole time she’s listenin’!!”

How timely! The dictionary gives a short summary of the word gossip, mainly gossip is “malicious talk,” which means to speak evil of. In other words, gossiping is saying evil things about people.

There’s a hard line between stating facts and gossiping. It doesn’t mean that you can’t pass along good news or state facts about one’s life, as long as they are truthful and not malicious.

Years ago at parties we would play a game called “Whisper,” I think. The first person would whisper something in the second person’s ear. It couldn’t be repeated if the second person didn’t understand it, they had to pass it on to the third person what they thought they heard and so on down the line. When the last person received the phrase, it was quite dissimilar from when it started. That is a form of gossip. It starts out innocently enough but ends up quite differently.

There are times when gossip can actually ruin one’s life,  can cause infractions between people that are irreparable. Is it worthwhile to spend a few minutes talking about a subject that could cause harm or hurtful feelings? A wise king of Israel once said, “A contrary man spreads conflict, and a gossip separates friends.” (Proverbs 16:28).  While gossip is mostly “over the fence,” rumors can spread like wildfire with the help of modern technology. It is tempting for one to relay stories to other people about other people but don’t gossip over the fence of life. Don’t be a “Loweezy Smith!”

Thought for the day: They that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind.   Scottish saying.

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