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Monday, September 26, 2005

Don't shoot the messenger

Life is what we make it. Always has been, always will be.

- Grandma Moses

Grandma Moses is a very smart woman. She understood taking personal responsibility for your actions. Things don't happen to you, you make things happen. That being said I do want to take the time for a little vocabulary lesson.

ru·mor (n.)
  1. A piece of unverified information of uncertain origin usually spread by word of mouth.
  2. Unverified information received from another; hearsay.
gos·sip (n.)
  1. Rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature.
  2. A person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts.
  3. Trivial, chatty talk or writing.
  4. A close friend or companion.
  5. Chiefly British. A godparent.
o·pin·ion (n.)
  1. A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof: “The world is not run by thought, nor by imagination, but by opinion” (Elizabeth Drew).
  2. A judgment based on special knowledge and given by an expert: a medical opinion.
  3. A judgment or estimation of the merit of a person or thing: has a low opinion of braggarts.
  4. The prevailing view: public opinion.
  5. Law. A formal statement by a court or other adjudicative body of the legal reasons and principles for the conclusions of the court.

With all the mutterings in my life about rumors and those vicious gossipers I thought I would post the dictionary definitions of these words to clear up any misunderstandings. If you notice rumors are not facts or personal observation. I would say that close friends and associates would not qualify as uncertain origin so the facts or personal observations of these people while techinically gossip do not constitute rumors. The fact remains that guilt is a human condition and as such we naturally try to cover up what we don't like about ourselves and our past actions. While this is understandable, does it really entitle a person to be upset when your past comes back to haunt them (as it invariably does)? I personally have done a lot of bad things in my life. I am no saint, and am not even going to try to claim that I will never do anything beyond reproach in remainder of my life. When someone observes and judges my actions I must admit that they are entitled to their opinion, even if I don't agree with it. Now when someone I don't want to know about my skeletons finds out do I have a right to get upset with the source that from which they obtained the information? No...I do not think I do. As an adult I have to take responsibility for my actions (including my choice to ignore or hide these facts in the first place) and realize that the truth hurts even more the longer you hold off on telling it or admitting it.

So that leads me to question, what happens when a so called "rumor" is actually a truth. We all know the saying "the truth hurts". People don't like to have the truth pointed out to them when they are trying so hard to ignore or bury it. I contend that you can never move on or grow out of your past until you accept your past and come to terms with it. Communication is the key to succesful personal relationships and living a life relatively free from the pain of lies, decption, and so called rumors. If you have nothing to hide, then you will not be affected by the rumors that seem to control you life when they are being spread around. Rumors don't tear lives apart, only your actions can do that.

Now about gossip. Friends and social circles often discuss their observations of those close to them in order to figure out how to help their loved ones. The word gossip has many negative connotations in our society, but as you can see from the definition below, there is nothing negative about the word gossip going by the definition. When the exchange of information is of a vindictive nature then I would agree that a gossip would be negative, however, that is not always the case.

The moral of this story is that I am 27+ years old and I have come to the conclusion that it is time to grow up and take responsibility for our lives. I am trying to do that, and I hope that everyone else will as well.


LeMorse said...

I have a feeling that you and I wer not talking about the same thing. None of this applies to the rumors I was addressing. Nothing about anyones past was brought up in the rumors I was talking about. Guess you heard something I did not.

Shan'Chelle said...

I am talking about things throughout my life before and after you not exlusive to you.

LeMorse said...

I haven't heard any rumors about you. Weird. I didn't know there were any flowing about you.

k o w said...

The rumors are true, this is a good blog. Even though I have zero clue what the hell your talking about here.

Networkchic said...

Honestly rumor or truth...doesn't matter. When people spread a rumor they really don't care if it's the truth, they care about how many people are willing to listen. I think we all have to grow up and deal with our past but the part about people having the right to judge you on it...not true. There's only one judge and jury you have to face...and it's not on this earth darlin'.

MezzoDragon said...

The last time someone made reference to an event that had once been the source of gossip, it was a bit awkward. It happened before I met my husband, and was not something that bothered me at the time. But things are different now, and when it was I brought up I tried to make it clear that my Husband was aware of the event. But it was not something either of us was comfortable having brought up in public.

Maybe everyone should just remember that no-one is free of an event or two that they are not proud of. I won't do it to you, if you don't do it to me. Heck, do you really think that I'd do that even if you had?

Shan'Chelle said...

KOW - I would like to say that I'm sorry you don't unerstand the specific situations I post about but I think you may be the one who is better off about that :-) I wouldn't wish this drama on anyone :-P

Mezzo & Network - All good points. I think I misspoke when I said that everyone has a right to judge, I think more accurately everyone has the ability to judge and if the situation affects them then they have a right to judge. Judgement can be good or bad, it is society that makes it a bad thing in my opinion. I'll try to be more clear in the future.

k o w said...

Thank you dear.

NewYorkMoments said...

Hey--Nobody's perfect & everyone has a skeleton or two in the closet...And...Hey---It's tough growing up. I'm still fighting it!