Monday, April 18, 2011
THE FIRST TO TELL
Why do people have the compulsion to be the FIRST one to tell something; especially bad news? A "well-meaning" person called yesterday to tell me news about the child of a friend of mine, but also told me NOT to tell from whom the information originated. I said that I wasn't going to tell. This morning, I learned that that so-called "well-meaning" person e-mailed my friend with the news; obviously, the person had tried to manipulate me into telling her; when I said that I wouldn't--the compulsion to deliver the news must have been too great--he just had to be the first one to tell!
Last year, I was told about an incident which allegedly involved the child of another friend of mine. A person called me and excitedly told me that my friend's child was "in trouble". I stated emphatically that I did not believe the story and the person who had called me stated that she heard it on "the scanner"; the story was totally false, without a shred of evidence, and the incident was actually about a totally different person.
This week I e-mailed that same person and told her a negative story about someone whom she likes, who is allegedly "in trouble". She experienced the same outrage as I had last year and she told me that it couldn't be true, that she didn't believe it, and she would wait for proof such as an indictment or arrest. I told that because of the confidential source, I believe it is true.
So, what's the difference in what I did and what she did? I did NOT state it as a fact; she stated hers AS a fact last year. [My BLOG article "BUZZ" tells the story of last year's incident and the anguish of being a victim of lies!]
There are very few people whom I care about their opinion of me, but one of them is my brother and when I told him about this, he asked, "And who are YOU to be teaching lessons? get off that self-righteous horse." [WHAT? He knows me too well. "teaching lessons"? "self-righteous" Oh, he has me there! POINT TAKEN!] Today, I AM ashamed of myself for trying to "teach a lesson" and repeating gossip! I am constantly lecturing other people, "Were you there?", "You don't know that as a fact", "You shouldn't say that unless you're sure", etc. Obviously I am also guilty!
Recently, I had three people call me to give me the "scoop" about the child of another friend of mine. All three had differing versions and as it turned out, all three were wrong, but they used the excuses, "It was on the scanner", "Her sister said," and "The cops said", when they relayed the stories. When I talked to those three people later, they all shrugged it off as if it were of little consequence; none had the grace to apologize for disseminating false information. There was just ONE grain of truth in all of their stories--they had the name right--but nothing else!
Once, a family member of mine told about the daughter of a famous person who attended the same college, and said she used drugs and I answered, "The ONLY way you would know if that's true is if you'd been there using drugs with her!" My grandmother once told about a person who didn't "belong" to the supposed father and I, as, a 12-year-old said, "Then you must have been in the bed with them, Granny!" Granny told my mother that I needed to be whipped for talking disrespectfully to her. My mother told her that I was the one who was right and she should be whipped for telling the story. [That's my mother!]
One time, we had a horrible person who called "to give condolences" before we had been notified of a death. That's another reason I do not use the local doctors or hospital because that person worked at the hospital and should NOT have been calling just because she wanted to be the "first to tell'!
Wisdom from Eleanor Roosevelt:
People with GREAT minds talk about IDEAS.
People with AVERAGE minds talk about EVENTS.
People with SMALL minds talk about other PEOPLE.
I am mostly AVERAGE!