When I was in Girl Scouts, how ever many hundreds of years ago that was, we played a game called gossip. We would sit in a circle and one person would whisper something into another person’s ear and they would pass it on likewise until the person at the other end said it out loud.
No matter what was said in the beginning, it never came out the same at the end.
I suppose it was supposed to teach us that anything we hear as gossip is unreliable. But honestly, I think it just taught us to whisper better.
Today I apparently caused a chain reaction event that culminated twelve hours later in a complete and dramatic implosion of someone’s volunteer “work”. But … I didn’t really cause it. The chain of events caused it. Their inability to “let it go” caused it.
I have been part of something called the “Art of Criticism” project. It is no longer. As someone in the know told me, the art of criticism project is no longer ultimately because the people in charge of the art of criticism project couldn’t take criticism.
I laughed and laughed and laughed.
Here, we’ll teach you how to critique others … but don’t you dare critique me.
The whole thing came down to a dramatic interpretation of a game of gossip. What came out at the end had nothing to do with where it started. A badly worded email …
You’d think a writer would be able to craft an email that said what the writer meant … But then there is that whole human thing. Mistakes. Emotions. Overreacting. Drama. Headache.
Yes, sweetie pie, even adults give in to that. If you think cat fights between teenage girls are bad … you should see them between a bunch of women on an internet forum. Toss in a couple of perfectionist men and it’s all over but the count down. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-…
And I’m being asked for my side of the story … I don’t even have a side to the story. I was sent an email and responded to it. That’s it. That’s where my story ends. What happened after that, … who knows but it had nothing to do with me.
I’m sure the whispers will prevail, bold, unabashed … and completely and totally wrong. Okay.
So what makes us so susceptible to things like gossip? Whispering in the coat room? Juicy tid-bits that belong in a grocery store rag? Why do we ever believe them?
Life is too short. And unfair. And stupid. And filled with unexpected hiccups along the way. Quit whispering behind the lockers and speak up. Be heard. Say your peace. Believe with your heart. Open your mind. Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.