Friday, August 31, 2012

Thou Shalt Not....

Casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.

Engage in gossip.

noun.  tittle-tattle - tattle - scandal - slander - rumour
verb.  tattle - tittle-tattle - talk - chatter - babble
 "If A equals success, then the formula is A = X + Y + Z, with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut."  Albert Einstein

"What you don't see with your eyes, don't witness with your mouth." Jewish Proverb

"Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip." Will Rogers
Spending the last week of the summer here at Pine Lake, I have been thinking a lot about gossip.  Often, when someone hasn't been at Pine Lake for a few days, the first question they ask is -- so, what's the gossip?  It's not that people are mean -- they just don't want to feel out of the loop.  They want to know what's going on.  But where do you draw the line between just reporting about the day, or trying to work out your feelings about something that occurred, and gossip?

The yamas and niyamas are the ethical precepts in the Yoga Sutras.  They are the first and second limbs of yoga and one is supposed to embrace and strive to master them before undertaking the physical asana postures.  Without the yamas and niyamas, yoga is just physical exercise.  By observing the yamas and niyamas, yoga can transform not only your body but your mind and your life.  The yamas and niyamas all flow from the first yama, "Ahimsa" - which means do no harm. 

Divisive speech -- words that cause someone to think ill about someone else -- are certainly harmful.  And I know when I'm crossing the line between just reporting about something and speaking divisively.  I get an icky, sour feeling, the way Edmund must have felt in The Chronicles of Narnia as he ate the White Witch's turkish delight.  You know it's not good for you or anyone else, and yet you just can't help yourself once you get started.  Why?

Psychologists say there are several reasons people gossip.  To feel superior, to get attention, out of jealousy or a desire for revenge, for control or power, or out of boredom.  Among my friends and family, the last reason is a driving force.  When you're sitting around on vacation, there's often nothing better to do than talk about other people. 

Interestingly enough, there are almost as many websites devoted to "How to Stop Gossiping" as there are sites whose sole content is gossip.  Here is a good article about stopping gossip, with a step by step approach.  Let me know your thoughts... 

Thank you for visiting! If you are so moved, please leave a comment. Hearing from you means the world to me.


  1. Love that you have picked up this subject for your pages - which are great! I find I share less and less even with close friends in reaction to the mindless chatter so many engage in. I do think boredom plays a large part. I feel so strongly about this I am thinking of doing my own take on the subject and linking up yours - would you be ok with that? I have an e-mail button on my blog if you would respond?

  2. Hi....I love your spread here and the message behind it. Gossip is never right and I know I sometimes engage, especially if I'm on the listening end of it. I live in a small town and know how harmful it can be.

  3. Great spread Jessica! Love your quotes and message here along with some interesting information. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Fabulous double page,wonderful images. X

  5. Love the layers and patterns in these wonderful paintings!!
    Happy PPF!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  6. Love the message behind your page. That is very true. And the page is beautiful aswell. Thanks for sharing such a lovely message and the link is really helpful aswell.

    hadiyah :)

  7. Excellent message. An important article. We can't change others, only ourselves and how people react to our changes.

    Great illustration!!

    Hugs Giggles

  8. Love the message, the wordings behind your work....beautiful!

  9. I am going to send a few people I know to this post- they need to read the valuable message in it!

  10. ah, great post!!! I hate, and love, gossip. (shaking head) boo.

  11. I tend to walk away and it's not hard to do. I learned early on that trouble is always just around the corner with loose tongues. The painting is wonderful and so is the message. Blessings, Janet PPF


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