Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Why We Should Talk, but Not Gossip

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."

- Eleanor Roosevelt

In today's world, it is easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and say things that we might regret later. It is easy to ridicule others, talk behind their backs, make fun of them, and expect to get away with it. We might get a sense of satisfaction to have been able to let out our feelings. But, then what? Do we ever take a moment to introspect? Do we have any idea about the gravity of our actions? Life cannot always be all fun and play. And, underplaying our own negative behavior may prove harmful as we grow older and realize that what truly matters isn't what we ever thought it to be.

No one tells us the difference between carrying on an intellectual conversation and leading a gossip filled discussion. Hardly anyone advises us that gossiping can be detrimental to our well-being. We are seldom condemned when we gossip and rarely do we find someone who will prod us to lead an intellectual dialogue. Why? Because, somehow, somewhere, almost every one of us has been guilty of indulging in gossip at least once in our lives.

But, it's never too late to stop.

What exactly constitutes "gossip"? To talk badly about someone is in itself gossip. How many times do we find ourselves picking out others' faults? We forget that the person we are singling out is the one who had helped us innumerable times, who has not a single selfish bone in his body, and who would willingly admit his mistake if we talked to him about it. Yes, he may have made an error. But, why overlook all his noble qualities for that one flaw? Instead of confronting him and figuring out a way to correct any misunderstandings, we go ahead and speak poorly about him to the very next person we encounter.

Often, gossip manifests in things as small as observing another's choice of clothing or the way they walk, assessing their physical beauty as if we had a right to judge the creation of God, and whatnot! Again, no one keeps a check on what kind of discussions we indulge in. We don't have an angel who sits on our shoulder and warns us before we say something that doesn't reflect who we truly are - human. We are a product of our own thoughts and actions. Hence, it is we who are responsible for keeping ourselves in check and driving the conversation to a more positive topic. Why revel in talking about the shortcomings of others? Don't we have enough faults to take care of, ourselves?

It is the time we understand that we no longer live in a world where values and morals are imbibed in a child from the moment she is born. Outside influence, negativity portrayed through the media, and our own adverse experiences lead us to believe that no one is as good as they seem. We are constantly on the lookout to find where the other is lacking. But, tell me something. Don't you think the world would be a much better place if we focused on the positive, instead? Wouldn't it be a beautiful world out there? One where people strive to lift others up instead of aiming to pull them down? One where we naturally consider others as our brothers and sisters? One where we don't feel the need to belittle another to make ourselves seem better?

While you aim to love all and hate none, also remember to trust few. And, always keep in mind the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Who knows? Maybe your next conversation with your friends will take a turn for the best and instead of finding fault with the new professor's pedagogy, you will be encouraged to take pleasure in the efforts she is putting in and to approach her with your difficulties. After all, it's the small things that count and baby steps are all it takes.

Written by Priyanshi Sheth
"Namaste!" from a creative, Indian soul who aims to keep herself motivated as she writes, travels, photographs, and thereby, shares her knowledge.

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