There is an article in today’s (Jan 6) issue of The Wall Street Journal on gossip and compassion (Before you gossip, ask yourself this). While WSJ might seem to be a strange place to find such an article, it was one of those I took time to read today and hope to take its advice to heart. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s a new year. Maybe it’s the fact that I, on occasion, have been known to gossip (but shhhhhh; don’t tell anyone).
Whatever the reason, the article contained some good information. Basically, it said before you talk about someone, ask yourself these three questions:
1) Is it true?
2) Is it kind?
3) Is it necessary?
Taking the time to think before we talk–engage brain, THEN open mouth–might make for a kinder, gentler society. It might also make each of us better people. Lord knows I need improving.
The article also included a great story on compassion. It was in the form of a letter the author received from a reader.
“My mother was waiting for me when I came home [from a teenage dance]. But instead of telling her I had a great time, I regaled her with a scathing description of some incredible nerd who’d tried to dance with me. In essence, I said that this guy had a lot of nerve to expect anyone to dance with a person as weird and ugly as he was.
“When I finished my tirade, my mom said, ‘You know, this boy you find ugly and weird is some mother’s pride and joy. She waited for him to come home, just like I waited for you, hoping to hear he’d had a nice time at the dance. But when he came home, she saw his face, she knew someone hurt him, and it broke her heart. So the next time a boy asks you to dance, before you turn him down or make fun of him, just remember: Every boy is some mother’s son.’ “
The writer of the letter said she always remembered that lesson.
It’s a lesson all of us should remember as we go through this dance called life.