Monday, March 16, 2009

Good Gossip, Bad Gossip

Welcome back. Its good to see you again.

I apologize for my sudden absence from my blog - late last year, there was so much going on in my life, I needed to take a hiatus and just get things settled.

I'm still trying to post every day, but anniversary days like today (mama passed away 2 months ago today), and with everyday life, I just can't seem to get back into it. I promise, I'm trying.

One of the things that happened was my dear mama got sick and ended up in the ICU of a local hospital. She passed away on January 16, 2009. For a week, our family essentially took over the ICU waiting room (on one typical day, I counted 32 of us there).

This time was both a very sad time and a very good and spiritual time. Not only did we as her children, husband, grandchildren and others have time to see one another on a daily basis, we also had many opportunities to tell mama of our love and to assure her that we would be fine if she needed to return Home.

We shared a lot of stories in that waiting room, and one constant story that was told over and over was mom’s refusal to pass on bad gossip.

I suppose you may be wondering if there really is such a thing as good gossip.

There is.

Whenever mama heard something nice about someone, she always made a point to pick up the phone and tell the person what so-and-so said about them. But, if she heard something bad about someone, she kept it completely to herself.

What an example I have to live up to!

So, here’s today’s challenge - which is actually a few challenges rolled into one. You can pick one, do all or just some of them:

First, make a point to find the good in somebody you know who really needs an encouraging word. This might be a co-worker, a friend or even the bus or cab driver. Find something about them to praise, and then just say it.

It’s not hard, it’s a small and simple way to brighten someone else’s day, and the impact on them could be just what they need to make it through a rough day.

Second, if someone comes to you with something negative to say about someone else, refuse to listen or pass it on. Tell that person of a nice quality about the object of the gossip, and let them know you appreciate the other person.

Third and final, if you hear gossip about yourself, remind yourself that you are a child of God, a true and literal son or daughter of diety. Rather than becoming immediately defensive about what you’ve heard, think of one of your best qualities. Write it down and remind yourself of that quality throughout your day.

As I’ve learned (and am continuing to learn) from mama, service doesn’t have to be an arduous, painful or time consuming process. It really can be small and simple, take little time and have a great and lasting impact on the lives of others.

Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love.

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