The Gossip Train Stops Here


“I never say anything negative about anyone, but …”
“People need to know that …”
“You know what I heard about …”
“I have a friend who had a bad experience with …”
“He’s a predator …”
“She’s a fraud … “
“He’s a creeper …”


It’s not gossiping if you are just trying to help, right? It’s not gossiping if you are just telling the truth, right?

After all, your good friend had a bad experience. A really bad one. You held their hand while listening to every detail; you’ve read the incriminating texts. You have the full picture. You’re certain of it.

How easily we justify.


See that star? The tiny dim one toward the right? That’s your vision, your knowledge, your understanding. The rest of the universe: that’s God’s. He knows every minute detail from every angle, from every side, from every perspective, from perspectives we don’t even know exist, our relative comprehension is so tiny, so minuscule. He knows the full measure of each of our hearts and minds. He knows our struggles, our challenges, our strengths, our triumphs. He knows.

Still convinced you have the full picture? Still convinced you can judge a man or woman’s character based on your limited scope? Still convinced the picture you paint of someone else in one broad brushstroke lives up to their 4-dimensional image?

And yet, remember that time you fretted you were misjudged?

The time someone took something out of context and painted your whole image around it? The time you made a bad judgement and that became all someone saw you as? Remember how all your goodness, all your kindness, all your strengths seemed to disappear to those whispering behind cupped hands. It feels terribly unfair, doesn’t it?

It’s a good thing every one of us is perfect. It’s a good thing we are so infallible and omniscient, we can scrutinize others from our high places in the name of “protecting” one another.

Obviously, none of us are. We were sent to Earth not as angels, but as people. As babies: physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally. We are still not full grown. We are far from it. Fortunately, we have an eternity to get there. We are only a few decades into an eternity. We slip; we fall; we make mistakes; we get up again; we climb mountains; we fall into riverbeds. That’s what we’re here for.

And we’re here together.

It’s not by mistake that God has put us all into one big bunch and organized little bunches. We are here to serve and lift one another through our eternal progression; not to bash each other’s heads in when we screw up, or when a little social awkwardness leads to misunderstandings and social missteps.

And yet, there we are, doing what we say we stand against, what we ourselves have been victim of. Don’t congratulate yourself for being one of the few not guilty. Look closer. Zoom far into that universe picture, all the way into your own mind and heart. You’re a good person, a great person. But you, too, have been guilty of gossip. Maybe a little. Maybe a lot. And what damage has it caused? And it always does. Always.


me and kidsAbout the AuthorCaroline Kingsley is an award-winning freelance print journalist, author and producer. Her articles appear regularly in the Utah Stories magazine and the Salt Lake Times. Last year, she self-published a short story set in historical Texas. She is currently working with a non-profit organization to write a book and produce a documentary about their work with HIV children in India. She is working on another documentary, and a biography, on her late father, a television producer.  She is also currently involved in producing a short documentary about the Syrian refugee crisis. Finally, she co-hosts a podcast about LDS single living, called The Mormon Meet Locker. She lives in Heber with her three children and cat: the beginning of an illustrious old maid feline collection.



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