Elevator Gossip

Before work was about to begin, on the ground floor of a building, about five persons (including me) piled into an elevator. Just as the door was about to close, a middle aged woman squeezed in. She recognized the woman standing next to me and as the lift started to move, the conversation went something like this.

Hello Sister, how are you?

I’m doing good. And you?

I’m great. How is Stella*?

Ohhh  she’s not good. Stella is still in her ‘situation’ you know.

Still? Even after the hospital thing?

Yes! Can you believe it? Even after she- almost -died. We couldn’t believe it. But Stella is weak sister. She is so weak.

Yes she is. We must continue to pray for her.

Yes. We’re praying sister. We are praying…

(PING)

OK. Nice to see you again. Have a blessed day. (She stepped out of the lift)

You too sister. Have a blessed day in the Lord.

I stood there shaking my head, trying to come to terms with what had just happened. Two (supposedly) church going women, had just aired out another woman’s dirty laundry in a public elevator. They both seemed oblivious to this however. One thought that she was soliciting prayers for Stella while the other, was just catching up. Did they give any thought to doing this in public? Surely there was a probability that one of us in the lift may have known ‘Stella’.  Was this camouflaged gossip?

It was strange, because I thought about this for days afterwards, praying for Stella. And praying for the women in the elevvator too. And even though something positive came out of that encounter, I couldn’t help but feel uneasy about the way that it all happened.

I began to wonder how many times that I had inadvertently done this. It had happened so quickly and casually with these women, that I knew, it could have happened to me.

Since that incident, I have become very wary, when talking ‘about’ someone in a public place. Whether my discussion is one of frustration or concern, I try to make sure no one is within earshot. And when people I know begin to ‘gossip’ in public, I feel uncomfortable and refuse to participate.

For me; If I want to let the world in on my troubles, I will whisper them to the wind. I don’t need you to do that for me. If you’re not brave enough to give the world insight into who you are, then hold back about sharing the lives of anyone else without their permission. It’s that simple

 

Life is short… Think before you speak.

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