I was invited to a party where I didn’t know the people well. While introducing myself and meeting new people, I heard the beginning of an interesting discussion. The conversation went from ordinary small talk to personal where “friends” not present were being discussed. Nothing horrible was said but a lot of the comments weren’t very complimentary either. Ok, let’s call it by its name; this was a gossip fest.
Then, to my dismay, even though I did not know the persons of interest, I was tempted to add my two cents so I could fit in.
This prompted me to ask myself a few questions, you know that internal dialog that we all have?
- First, is this right? Should this conversation be taking place?
- If I weren’t here, what would be said about me?
- How can I change the subject?
This experience left me with an uneasy feeling. Have you ever found yourself in this situation? Or are you the one initiating the comments? We all have been guilty of gossiping at some level and sometimes it’s like a drug and we just can’t’ stop ourselves!
There’s a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that sticks in my mind whenever this temptation comes over me: “Great minds talk about ideas, Average minds talk about events, Small minds talk about people.”
I don’t know about you, but striving for a Great mind or at least an Average mind is where I want to be. As enticing as it is to gossip and at the moment seems fulfilling, at the end of the day we never really feel good about it. So when that gossip drug starts sucking you in just listen to that little voice inside your head saying…strive for a great mind, strive for a great mind…
Just think how much better the world, or at least our communities, would be if we focused our energy on IDEAS.