I’ve found myself party to a lot of gossip in the past several months (maybe more than usual or maybe I’m just more aware of it’s invasion) . Most of it is meant to be harmless, but inevitably I walk away feeling dirty, paranoid, and massively regretful for being associated with it.
To gossip is human. We’ve all been on the delivering and receiving end of it at some time or another. We might do it for truly malicious reasons like to boost our own self-confidence or to demolish someone else’s. But most of the time, we gossip as an easy way to fill the air, to carry on a conversation and to share in the fun of delivering the “shock factor” of juicy (over-exaggerated) rumors. These “harmless” reasons are why I sometimes find myself gossiping. But gossip is never harmless.
It is a culture-less, lazy, unkind replacement for meaningful conversation. And totally worthy of extinguishing from your habits.
Maria Popova of Brain Pickings says it best:
[pullquote width=”600″ float=”center”]Gossip, by and large, is as easy to go down as candy and just as bad for us in the long run — the kind of social malady that infects all parties involved with toxic poison under the guise of sugar-water.[/pullquote]
To engage in meaningful conversations is hard work. Why do you think we reach for Star Magazine in lieu of the Wallstreet Journal? Gossip goes down easier than hard news. However, doing the hard work of engaging in conversation that actually matters is fruitful. It leaves you with an energizing “high” instead of a depressing gossip hangover, enriched instead of reduced.
Try it. Next time you are tempted to take the lazy route and bring up “so-and-so’s” “such-and-such”, search for something more meaningful. What is going on in your friend’s life? What is important to them at that moment? How many times have you walked away from a conversation knowing nothing about the person you were with, but knowing all the gossip about five other people?
This quote from Eleanor Roosevelt is so lovely, so true, and elicits so much guilt for every exchange where I’ve failed to work towards greatness:
[pullquote width=”600″ float=”center”]Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.[/pullquote]
For me, the truth that stings the most is this: gossiping makes you untrustworthy. Trustworthiness is a trait I strive to give the people in my life.
So if I’ve ever unkindly gossiped about you, I hope you will forgive me. Know that you have my forgiveness too. Now, let’s all make these muffins. After all, it’s hard to gossip with your mouth full.
- 1 large banana, mashed with a fork
- 1 cup nondairy milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup oat bran
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or Earth Balance
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350F and line or lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
- In a large bowl, mix together mashed banana, milk and vanilla extract.
- Add the remaining ingredients and gently stir until just incorporated.
- Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops turn golden.
- Once cool, store in an airtight for up to 3 days. Because they are so moist, these muffins won't last long at room temperature! For longer storage, store in an airtight container in the freezer.