This is part 4 of a series. Part 3 is here.
(Elyse is participating in YALs Virtue Challenge. She is posting weekly about her experiences. You will find more about the Virtue Challenge and a linkup of posts here. Elyse is 18 years old. She is a sophomore at Bakersfield College and is working toward a degree in Microbiology. She assists in the Veil Shop and enjoys reading, writing, and time with friends.)
Everybody gossips. It’s just about impossible to not gossip. Gossiping has become a normal part of the culture; magazines flourish on gossip, hurtful or otherwise, teenagers spread them like wildfire through high school and college, and even those who do not intend to sometimes end up participating in it. Gossip isn’t necessarily just whispering bad things behind people’s backs, gossiping may be spreading untruths with good intentions. But lies always lead to bad places, and shouldn’t be put out into the world in the first place. When I think about it, and about how gossiping isn’t just spreading rumors, I realize that I do it. It’s hard for me to look at situations that I deem as immature, or doomed to failure, and to not make comments and complain to those who are close to me to release steam and to get validation from those close to me. Having support is important, but having support by standing on the backs of others is not something to be proud of. There are many situations right now in my life that fit that circumstance, but I learn little bits all the time that come together as a picture of my purpose: It is not my duty to tell other people what is wrong, but to bring them to God and let Him show them how to live righteously.
I have, personally, never been a victim of gossip. Or bullying, or anything else normal teenagers go through under that genre of torment, for that matter. For some reason I always manage to stay under the radar of those who wish to hurt me intentionally. I don't know how I did it through high school, but I did. I suppose it is because I always chose my friends carefully. However, I do understand the pain that some go through with rumors. I have had friends who have suffered nasty rumors and see the torment that they go through. Hurting another person, in any way, is never worth it, and is never right.
By Rebecca Kennison (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Then there’s being rude. Being rude never breeds any positive results, only frustration and affront and reciprocity of similar treatment. Behaving in a way that is disrespectful or unkind, first of all, doesn’t make anyone like the person behaving that way. Almost everyone deserves respect, and those who don’t should receive it anyway because they ought to see an example of how a person should act. Civility is something lost in our culture today; it’s acceptable to be rude, to speak to someone with inappropriate language, and to treat elders poorly. Personally, I believe this is because there are no consequences for actions any longer. Nowadays, if a child misbehaves, the parents defend that child against another who complains. What kind of message is this sending youth? The wrong one. Children used to get paddled in schools, and as gruesome as it sounds, maybe some kids should get a little bottom-smack now and then.
"Gossip is the Devil's radio" - George Harrison
(I don't even like the Beatles.)
Elyse is linking up her Virtue Challenge posts here:
Next Week's Virtue:
Next Week's Virtue:
Understands that Drama
is a Major Turn Off
(You are invited to link up too.)
For more about the Virtue Challenge,
Don't miss a post: