The original article hung on the kitchen cabinet of my childhood home for over 20 years– an important reminder to every member of our family of the power of gossip.
As bullying continues to make headlines, we know that gossip is a major component of bullying. It ads fuel to the fire. It is a vehicle to punish. It excludes many while including a few– who is on either side can change on a dime.
My husband and I have often told the young people we mentor, if people will do it for you, they’ll do it to you. In this case, if they are gossiping with you, they will likely gossip about you. While gossip can seem fun and frivolous to those who are doing it, it can feel quite painful to those who are discussed. Be careful of those who engage in this behavior as you might just be the one bitten next!
I think I learned that lesson the hard way as an elementary school student who used to tell secrets in order to try to connect and make friends. Of course, this would backfire. As you can imagine, I was glad I learned that lesson early!
Has the gossip snake bitten anyone in your home or your school? If you could hang this anywhere to remind someone to watch what they say, where would you hang it?
Feel free to print it out and share. I can still practically recite it verbatim as I read it more often throughout my childhood than I’ll ever know. Not a bad thing. I think my Mom was onto something…