This I Believe

Philip - Atlanta, Georgia
Entered on February 4, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Gossiping Is Okay

My beliefs, on the whole, are fairly typical for a white suburban teenager. I have one belief, however, that is not normal. I believe, no, I embrace gossiping with all of my heart. It makes me feel good without hurting a soul.

I have come to realize through my years of gossiping that when someone approaches me about a gossip-related subject, there is an implied trust involved; I, as the primary auditor of the discussion, am obligated to keep whatever is being said in confidence. Furthermore, it is implied that whoever is talking to me is at least somewhat fond of me because they expect me to agree with them and unite in a mutual agreement that we are better, in some way, than whomever we are talking about.

When a new leader came to my youth group about two years ago, I realized I was in the presence of someone special. His words were so uplifting, so inspirational. He would inevitably be loved by everyone. Could he possibly befriend me despite his vast popularity? Well, my question was answered with a simple statement. “Don’t you think that kid over there is stupid as hell?” the new leader asked me, pointing to an individual that he sensed was annoying me. Laughing, I agreed. A common bond of superiority had just been established and a new friendship was born.

I have found many times since that instance that gossiping has made life easier for me. In some of my lowest points, when I have fallen into a hole that seemed to be bottomless, gossiping has been my ladder to the heavens.

I was talking to a friend one day and we discussed our SAT scores. His score was significantly higher than mine, and he made sure I knew it. He called me “stupid” and “retarded.” My friend’s words were piercing. I felt like I had been spat on. I had to talk with someone about it immediately. I discussed the situation with a very intelligent friend and his remedy to my sorrows was none other than a prescription for belittling others to make me feel better about myself. I believe the directions on the bottle read “take just once be healed.” “That kid has no friends and is really ugly,” my friend told me. When I heard those words, I was warmed. My sorrow was gone. I believed them with all of my heart and I still do today.

I concede that gossiping is not always necessary. The stereotypical teenage-girl-rumor-spreading gossiping is different from what I believe in. I believe in using gossip for the good. It is an essential element to my happiness. It hurts no one, uplifts spirits, and builds confidence. For me, it has started friendships, eased my pain, and has only helped me. Gossiping is okay. Trust me, I have lived it.