In the Flow with Healing Waters
Me: Hey, you know what I just heard about our friend Sam?
Friend: Before you tell me what you heard, is it true?
Me: I don’t know. It’s just what I heard.
Friend: Ok, so you’re wanting to tell me something about Sam, but you don’t know if it’s true. Can you tell me if what you’re going to tell me is kind?
Me: Oh no, it isn’t kind. It’s very unflattering.
Friend: What I’m hearing you say is that you want to tell me something about our friend Sam that is unflattering and it might not be true. Is it necessary for me to know this information?
Me: No, not really. It’s just something that I thought you would find interesting.
Friend: No thanks, I’m not interested. Maybe you should check with Sam to find out if the information you heard is true.
In all reality, this conversation seldom happens, because most of the time our curious minds want to hear “the dirt,” or perhaps it would be uncomfortable to call someone out on the gossip. However, what if it starts with us and we each just took responsibility for what we are saying and asked ourselves these 3 things before we spoke?
Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?
When my kids were little, they used to watch Veggie Tales. One of the movies was titled “The Rumor Weed.” It was geared towards younger kids to teach them how telling an untrue story gets passed along to other people, gets embellished with each repeat of the story and how it grows like a weed. It was a great lesson in telling the truth, but more importantly, it explained how the person feels that’s being gossiped about. Even though a rumor and gossip have slightly different definitions, the results are similar to how it feels when you are the one being talked about.
Next time you are going to share a story about someone else, ask yourself the 3 questions listed above. If the answer is NO to any of the questions, opt out of telling the story, or only share what you know to be true, kind and necessary. Notice how it changes the dramatization of the story. If we choose our words wisely and make small changes to lift others up instead of putting them down, it can change the outcome of how others feel.
In the flow,