We are a curious species to be sure and sharing information that we have about others isn’t always a bad thing. For instance when someone is ill and “word gets around” they are ill and could use help with meals or house work or maybe a ride to and from to the doctor or prayer. Maybe even a short visit to show how much they are cared about. Even in that we should be careful not to share detailed information that person may not want bandied about hither and yon.
Small towns are notorious for every one knowing every one else’s business. And new comers are prime targets. When I first moved here (ND) I met people who know where I was going to be working and told me, when I had never laid eyes on that person before in my life. I’ve lived in small towns but mostly rural areas and I’ve not experienced that one before. They were wrong by the way.
But I wonder if anyone stops to think how rumors or gossip affects the person being gossiped about.
I’m not going to use names but a few months ago it came to my attention that someone had a visit from the BCI and local sheriffs department regarding a work at home “job” the person had started working at that turned out to be a stolen credit card scam. The employee was totally innocent of any wrong doing but had information (on their computer) that would help the BCI find the people who were running this operation. Not long after that the spouse of that person got a phone call from a co worker saying people were talking about this visit by the BCI and that the spouse had had their computer confiscated and kiddy pornography was found on the computer. Now the spouse had nothing to do with this “job” and did not have their computer even looked at let alone confiscated. That spouse is in education. Can you imagine how devastating that rumor could have been to the career of this person? The person who started that terrible rumor was not identified nor did they come forward to apologize for it. Gratefully nothing came of this wicked rumor that I am aware of basically because there was no truth to it, but that is not always the case. But worst case scenario that person could have lost his or her job. Can you imagine the parents of students this educator upon hearing such a rumor losing all trust and confidence in their child’s well being and safety let alone the students themselves if it were heard by them. Trust between an educator and a parent is a delicate thing without these types of things happening. My heart breaks at just the thought of this situation had it developed into something worse rumor wise. Such a rumor could have been life devastating.
I use this as an example of how devastating rumors can be or are. I implore you the reader of this blog to re-consider repeating information about someone especially if you don’t know that person the rumor is about. The people in my little story are new comers to the DevilsLake region and it did not bode well as a good reflection on the character of its people.
So please stop and think, and consider the ramifications of you sharing erroneous information about your neighbors. Jesus tells us to love thy neighbor as thyself. Let us all try to put that into action and give any person we hear a rumor about the benefit of the doubt. Remember in this country we are presumed innocent until proven guilty!