No one saw Debbie and her husband Greg standing
outside in the hallway. The door was not fully shut so the troubled
couple heard the couples inside chatting. The support group for couples
was supposed to help them in their fragile relationship. The meeting
was late starting because they were waiting Debbie and Greg. They were
the last couple.
But the late arriving couple was early enough to
hear Suzy, a petite well-dressed woman’s comments. “If I was Debbie’s
husband I would hire a private detective to find out where she's really
eating all those calories she claims she never eats at home.” The group
laughed as the stunned couple in the hallway froze- unable to push the
door open and enter.
Jack, a tall man with a small pouch for a
stomach and loose fitting clothes, fueled the gossip fire. “Well, her
husband works out with me at the gym. He is there all the time. I think
it's because he hates being at home."
Once again the group
laughed. It seemed as if the group did not care how loud their laughter
and voices might be heard by the couple that had not yet arrived.
Somehow talking about this couple made all of them feel numb about
their own problems.
Then Beverly and John, the leaders of the
support group, said,"Imagine how anyone of you would feel if you were
standing outside that door listening to members of this group gossip
about you." Her husband then added, "We are here to help each other,
none of us need to add to the abuse many of us already experience. Just
gossiping about them will not heal our own wounds."
comments came too late. The spoken remorse of the group came too late.
Because the once late couple left too early to hear anything except the
Too stunned and hurt to go in the couple,
outside the door, turned quietly to walk down the hall to the exit
door. Never to return to the group that was supposed to SUPPORT and not
STEP on their relationship.
Gossip, a deadly form of verbal abuse, had reared it's ugly head, once again. .
do you react when you hear gossip about someone else? How do you
recognize when you are the tormenter with this deadly torch?
of us go along with the crowd and laugh. Yet, if confronted, we would
claim that we never gossip. If we join in with laughter or silence we
are perceived to be in agreement with the gossip. Betty and her husband
John took a stand. Just imagine if each one of us took a stand against
gossip. It will take courage. But It is not until we take a stand and
decide to be the voice of kind and encouraging words do we begin to put
out the HOT FIRE OF GOSSIP.